Sponsored By:   Tom & Jerry's of Sycamore
Sycamore, IL
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2023 Sycamore Girls’ Softball Rules 5th/6th Grade (12u)  All rules follow IHSA(NFHS) except as modified below:

General Rules– Home team occupies 3rdbase dugout. Home team is responsible for field preparation. Home team is responsible to reschedule make up games as soon as can be arranged, and before the end of the regular season. Each team is to supply one game ball for each game.

Playing Field - Pitchers distance from back of home plate to front of pitchers plate is 35 feet. Distance between bases is 60 feet. Safety base is to be used at first base. On deck batter must be to back of player at bat.


Fielder’s Mask– must be worn by all players playing the infield.  This requirement applies only to SGS players.

Balls– 12” Approved optic yellow fast pitch COR .47 or higher

Bats – Official softball only

Batting Helmets– must have facemasks and chin straps. All offensive players must wear helmets while on playing field (includes on-deck batter). Any runner intentionally knocking off helmet may be declared out.

Catchers– Full equipment to be worn (helmet, mask, throat protector, shin guards, chest protector)

Uniforms – All players must wear their official uniforms with shirts tucked in. Wearing of jewelry is prohibited unless it is religious or medical and then must be taped down. Metal spikes are prohibited.

Players – Player may be on roster of only one team. No travel players outside of Sycamore SYCOS allowed (exemption for Fall Rec. Season). 

Requirement – Field 9 players. Outfielders must play 10’ behind baseline. Minimum 8 players needed to play. If playing with 8 the 9thspot in the batting order will be an automatic out.

Playing time/positions-Players cannot sit out more than 3 innings in any game except for disciplinary reasons. Players must play at least 1 inning in infield each game. Defensive players, including pitchers, may be moved in and out of positions freely.

Bringing up a player –A team may bring up players from a lower division if the team will have less than 9 players on the roster available for the game. The player must bat last and must play the outfield. She may not pitch or catch. Maximum of 3 players may be called up or game should be rescheduled.

The Game – Games are to start on time with no new inning to start after 1 hour and 30 minutes from scheduled start time. 7 innings are to be played if time allows

Warm ups- Home team is to take field 30 minutes before the game and visitors are to take the field 15 minutes before the game for warm ups.

Complete Game - 4 ½ innings if the home team has the lead or 5 complete innings if game is tied or visitor is winning. If time allows extra innings may be played using international tiebreaker rule. If the game is suspended prior to a complete game we will pick up the game where it was suspended

Scoring – 5+ runs maximum per inning for first 6 innings. All runs scored on final play of inning will be counted.  Unlimited runs in the 7thinning only.

Run ahead rule- Game will be called if home team is ahead by 10 runs or more after 4 ½ innings or visiting team is ahead by 10 runs or more after 5 complete innings.

Warm up pitches – At the beginning of each half inning the pitcher will be given 5 warm up pitches or a maximum of 2 minutes from the 3rdout of the previous inning to be prepared to deliver the 1stpitch.  

Pitching – IHSA pitching rules will be followed.

Restrictions - Pitcher may pitch a maximum of 4 innings per game. Innings may or may not be consecutive. 1 pitch in any inning constitutes an inning. Pitcher returning to pitch in same inning will receive no warm up pitches.


Batting order - A continuous batting order will be used. If a batter is hurt and cannot continue, the next batter takes her count. The injured batter may return to play when ready.

Bunting – Allowed

Fake bunting (slashing) – Not allowed

Dropped 3rd Strike – In effect

Infield Fly Rule– In Effect

Base Running 

Stealing – Allowed

Sliding – Optional, but runners must avoid contact when a play is made at any base.

Continuous Walk (Look Back Rule) – Not in effect

Dead Ball – Play is dead and runners cannot advance once any fielder has possession of the ball in the pitcher’s circle. If the runner maintains continuous movement to the next base they may advance at their own risk to the next base only. If the runner stops at any time they must return to the previous base. If play is made on the runner then ball is live.


Decisions – All decisions made by the umpire are final. Only head coaches can address an umpire. Appeals may be made on rules questions only and must be made before the next pitched ball. May not appeal a judgment call.

Weather – Umpire will decide if game should be suspended or called due to weather.

Safety – A game will be called if there is visible lightning in the vicinity or if the lightning detection system sounds. All players and coaches must leave the field of play and move to a safe area. If lightning detection system stopped play then you may not return to play until “all clear” sound. If stopped because of visible lightning then may not return to play within 30 minutes of last seen lightning strike.

Communicable Disease Procedure – A player or coach who is bleeding or who has an open wound shall be prohibited from participating further in the game until appropriate treatment has been administered. If medical treatment can be administered in a reasonable amount of time, then the individual does not need to be removed from the game. “Reasonable amount of time” is determined by the umpire. If there is excessive amount of blood on the uniform then that part of the uniform must be changed before she returns to play.

Code of Conduct – Coaches, players, parents and guests will be held responsible for their own behavior.  Umpires and league officials may ask offending party to leave the field of play if SGS Code of Conduct is violated. Offending party will be automatically suspended for the next game.


Dropped 3rdstrike– Batter becomes a batter-runner if the catcher fails to catch the 3rdstrike before the ball touches the ground when there are fewer than 2 outs and 1stbase is unoccupied at the time of the pitch, or anytime there are 2 outs. Batter-runner is called out if she fails to advance to first and enters the team area. 

Infield Fly Rule - When declared by an umpire, a fair fly that can be caught by an infielder with ordinary effort when runners are on first and second or bases are loaded with less than 2 outs. The rule does not preclude outfielders from being permitted to make the catch. The ball is live, the batter is out, which removes the force, but runners may advance at their own risk. 

Look Back Rule (continuous walk) – Once the pitcher has possession of the ball in the pitcher’s circlerunner may stop once but then must immediately return to the base or attempt to advance to the next base. The runner will not be called out if a play is made on them or another runner (A fake throw is considered a play), the pitcher no longer has possession of the ball within the 16-foot circle, or the pitcher releases the ball on a pitch to the batter.

Fake Bunting (slashing) – The act of the batter squaring to bunt at a pitch and then pulling the bat back to “slash” or swing at the ball. This action is disallowed at the 3rd– 6thgrade levels as a safety measure for the younger players.

Interference (Offense)-It is an act (physical or verbal) by a member of the team at bat who illegally impedes, hinders or confuses any fielder: or when a runner creates malicious contact with any fielder with or without the ball, in or out of the baseline.

Obstruction (Defense) – Obstruction is the act of the defensive team member that hinders or impedes a batter’s attempt to make contact with a pitched ball or that impedes the progress of a runner or batter–runner who is legally running the bases, unless the fielder is in possession of the ball or is making the initial play on a batted ball. The act may be intentional or unintentional, physical or verbal.

International Tie Breaker – Each team will start with the last batter to complete a turn at bat on second base. There will be no outs to start the inning and no count on the batter.