SARASOTA SENIOR SOFTBALL ASSOCIATION (SSSA)
GENERAL RULES AND PROCEDURES, (Based upon the USSSA Rule Book)
 April 2019

1. DUES
Without exception, all players will be required to pay a fee determined by the Board of Directors in order to participate.  The fee covers the purchase of game balls, field maintenance, and other ongoing expenses.  A player will be allowed three weeks from the first playing date of the season or the first playing date that he is available to play, whichever is earlier, to pay the fee.  The individual will not be allowed to play after the third playing date and beyond until the fee is paid.  Team managers are responsible for collecting the fees, maintaining a record of those who have paid, and forwarding the fees to the Association treasurer.
2. PLAYER BEHAVIOR
Managers will be responsible for control of players’ actions pertaining to both verbal and physical abuse.  Incidents of such abuse should be immediately reported to the SSSA Board of Directors, which will take necessary action.  The following are the disciplinary actions that will be taken by the Board.
a. Verbal abuse by a player
Manager and/or board member has the authority to eject a player for the remainder of the playing date on which the verbal abuse (threatening, sustained arguing, profanity, harassment of umpires, etc.) occurs.  The manager will report this incident to the Board of Directors immediately, but no later than 24 hours, who will review the incident.  The review may result in the player being suspended for the number of playing dates deemed appropriate by the Board of Directors.
b. Physical Abuse by a Player
Manager and/or board member has the authority to eject a player for the remainder of the playing date on which the abusive physical contact (shoving, bumping, punching, hitting etc.) toward another player, umpire, or manager occurs.  The manager will report this incident immediately, but no later than 24 hours, to the Board of Directors who will review the incident.  The review will result in the player being suspended for the number of playing dates deemed appropriate by the Board of Directors.  The suspension for this type of offense will be up to one year.  The player will then petition the board for reinstatement.
c. Other Behavioral Violations
Manager and/or board member has the authority to eject a player for the remainder of the playing date if smoking products are used on the field or in the dugout.  The manager will report this incident to the Board of Directors immediately but no later than 24 hours who will review the incident.  The review may result in the player being suspended for the number of playing dates deemed appropriate by the Board of Directors.
Any verbal, physical contact, or other behavioral violations by a manager will be reported to the Board of Directors by the victim and/or any witness immediately but no later than 24 hours.  The Board of Directors will discipline the manager at its discretion in less than one week.  At least five members of the board must be present for this meeting.
Managers have the authority to recommend to the board that appropriate action be taken to suspend a player if the player does not provide timely notification, as determined by the manager, of planned absences (vacation, appointments, etc.) or injuries that will affect playing ability.  Managers may then call up players for the suspended player in the usual manner and is required to remain compliant with all other existing rules.
3. GAME OPERATIONAL PROCEDURES
a. All league games will start promptly no later than 8:30 A.M, although they may be started earlier.  A team must field a minimum of nine players or forfeit both games.  Teams playing with 9 or 10 fielders may not ask the opposing team to supply a catcher.  All defensive teams must supply their own catcher.  
b. Players arriving after the game begins must bat last in the lineup for the remainder of the game.  The batting order may be changed for the second game.
c. No inning may begin after 12:00 noon.  This time is measured at the last putout of the previous inning. 
d. Games are official after four innings, or 3 ½ if the home team is ahead. If a game, due to rain or time expiring, is called after 3 innings with one team leading by more than 5 runs, that team will be declared the winning team as the other team would not be able to tie the game due to the 5 run limit rule. A game will end after five or six innings of play when one team is ahead by 12 runs or more. If a team is ahead by 17 or more runs after 4 innings, the game shall be declared over as the team behind by 17 or more, can’t reduce the run differential to under 12 runs in the 5th inning. Should the team behind want to play the 5th inning anyway, the team ahead must agree.
e. If a game is tied after 7 innings, the last batter from the previous inning will be placed as a runner at second base to begin the inning.  A pinch runner may not be used for this player.
f. All managers are required to make a serious effort to find substitute player(s) prior to the game in order to field 11 players. 
g. A foul tip or foul ball caught by the catcher in flight will be an out regardless of the height of the ball in flight.
h. There will be a five run maximum in each inning except the last inning.  An unlimited number of runs may be scored in the last inning of a game.
i. Courtesy Runners.  There will be no courtesy runners from home plate.  No player may be used as a courtesy runner more than once per inning.  Courtesy runners may run only for the batter at the conclusion of his time at bat.  If a player is removed for a courtesy runner, he may not be a courtesy runner that inning. (An Incorrect courtesy runner listed previously must be replaced when identified).    If a courtesy runner is on base when scheduled to bat, he is automatically out and he stays on base.  The next batter in the lineup then bats. A batter hitting a home run is not required to round the bases. Players on base when the home run is hit are not required to round the bases and touch home plate.
j. The pitcher may release the ball from the pitching rubber or any point up to 6 feet behind the rubber and must be in line with the rubber and second base.  There will be no running starts allowed.  A pitch is illegal and called a ball if the arc is not between 6 and 12 feet above the ground.  The pitcher may change the location of his pitching position at any time.
k. During all league games, should the first game run long, or during the summer season, both Managers can agree to play the second game consisting of 5 innings.  In the event this is done a game must still complete 4 innings (3 ½ innings, if the home team is ahead) in order to be considered official.  There will be no mercy rule in truncated games.  In truncated games there will be no 5 run limit for the 5th inning, i.e. the run total is unlimited for the 5th inning. Also see rule 3d.
l. No individual player shall be walked more than one (1) time per game. Should the same player walk more than once in the same game, the second, and every time thereafter that player walks, the batter will have the option of going to 1st base, or remaining at home plate with a new count.  Should the batter walk again during the same at bat, the manager can place a runner on first base and the hitter remains at the plate with a new count.  This scenario will continue until the hitter reaches base via a struck ball, accepts the walk or makes an out.
m. A batter who is walked and who would ordinarily request a courtesy runner when reaching 1st base is not required to actually walk to the base. He may just return to the dugout while his courtesy runner proceeds to 1st base.
n. Runners attempting to score must run to and touch the secondary rubber plate (runner’s plate), situated 8’ from the wooden home plate (catcher’s plate). Failure to touch the runner’s plate prior to the defender, with the ball in his possession, touching the catcher’s plate is an out.  The defender may touch any part of the catcher’s plate.  The defender can make no play on a runner other than touching the catcher’s plate once the runner passes the commit line.  Runners touching ANY PART OF the catcher’s plate (black or white) will be called out.  Should the catcher’s wooden plate be out of position, the defender can also touch the permanent home plate.
o. The team listed first in the schedule shall be designated the Home Team and use the first base dugout.  The Home Team is responsible for bringing the screen and home plates to the assigned field.  The visiting team is responsible for returning the gear to the shed at the conclusion of play.
p. The winner of the first game is responsible for reporting the scores.
q. Veer Rule.  On a force play, runners attempting to occupy 2nd or 3rd base should veer to the side normally away from the defensive player’s throwing hand if it is apparent that they will be out.  Should the defensive player drop the incoming throw, the runner shall be declared safe by the umpire.  Should the defensive player drop the ball making a “baseball move” such as transferring the ball to his throwing hand for a double play attempt, the runner will be ruled, out.  Such plays are solely the judgement of the umpire making the call with the usual appeal process being available to managers.
4.  PLAYER PARTICIPATION IN GAMES
All players present must be in the batting order and play a minimum of two innings in the field per game.  The requirement for playing in the field may be waived if a player is the Designated Hitter - (DH).  If a player is the DH, the opposing manager must be notified before the start of play.  A player so designated must agree to be the DH or else the 2 innings of play in the field will be required.  No more than one player may be the DH in any game.  The DH may enter the game as a player in the field at any time.  The manager or co-manager assigns players to positions and establishes the batting order.  If a player refuses to play an assigned position, the manager has the authority to suspend the player for that day.  A player injured during play may be removed without penalty; leaving for any other reason will result in an out each time that player is scheduled to bat.  A player injured during a game may be replaced with a call-up player at the field subject to the conditions in 12.d. below.
5. EQUIPMENT
a. The SSSA Board of Directors has the authority to select the specifications for all equipment used in play including bats, balls and shoes.
b. After 1 year of participation in the League, a player must provide his own bat.  If a player has not provided his own bat after 1 year, he may not play in the League until he satisfies this requirement.
6. PITCHING SCREEN
Teams are required to employ a pitching screen (provided by the SSSA) during games for pitcher safety.  The following rules apply.
The screen must be positioned so that it is between part of the pitching rubber and home plate and must be placed no nearer home plate than 6 feet in front of the rubber.  The screen must cover at least half of the rubber with right handed pitchers covering the left half and left handed pitchers covering the right half.  The screen support legs must be inside the screen width.  For the pitcher’s safety, he is expected to move behind the screen after throwing a pitch.
If a batted ball strikes any part of the screen, it is a dead ball and counts as no pitch.  If a thrown ball strikes the screen, the ball is in play.  If a pitch hits the screen after it leaves the pitcher’s hand, it is a dead ball and counts as no pitch.  The Board may suspend the pitching privilege for any pitcher not getting behind the screen for his safety. 
7.  UMPIRES
a. It is required that two umpires be provided, a home plate umpire and a 1st/2nd base umpire.  The base umpire will be responsible for calls at 1st and 2nd base.  The home plate umpire will be responsible for calls at home and 3rd base.  Both managers must approve all umpires.
b. Umpires have the authority to eject a player from any game at their discretion.  The ejected players’ spot in the batting order will result in an out for the remainder of the game(s) that day and the player will not be allowed to participate in the team’s next playing date.
c. When it is discovered that there is no umpire at home or in the field, the manager of the team in the field will make the call which the missing umpire should have made. All plays that occurred before the missing umpire is discovered, will stand. Umpires, or the manager of the fielding team, if there is no umpire at home, should make sure that no pitcher makes a quick pitch to take advantage of a missing umpire. This is in the national rules.
8.  MANAGERS
SSSA Board of Directors must approve all managers.  The Board may replace any manager at their discretion.
The Board may also appoint former players as non-playing managers.  They will perform all duties of a player/manager, with the exception that, under no circumstances, will they be allowed to enter the game in any active player capacity such as batting, pinch running or fielding.
9.  PLAYER ELIGIBILITY
The drafting manager may draft a player who will not be in town for a full season.  Should this occur, when the player leaves, the manager may call up, or pick up a replacement player.  Players arriving after team rosters have been established will be placed on appropriate call up list(s).  All leagues with age requirements, “55, 68 etc.” must be the required age or older as of December 31 of the year during which play ends.                                                                                                                                                        

10. SELECTION OF PLAYERS TO LEAGUES
Monday and Friday Gold Leagues, will hold drafts prior to the beginning of the season.  The number of players to be selected by each team manager/co-manager will be left to the discretion of the board. All remaining players may play in the Tuesday and Thursday leagues (silver).  These will consist of teams of at least 13 players, the number being decided by the Board of Directors.  Players to Silver League teams will be selected in a manner prescribed by the SSSA Board of Directors following the respective Gold League drafts.  Silver league managers may participate in a draft in lieu of this selection, as decided by the Board of Directors.   The trading of players between teams is not allowed.
11. PLAYER RATINGS
Each player will be assigned a rating by the Board of Directors from 1 to 12 with 1 being the highest experience and skill level and 12 being the lowest.    The Board will maintain the rating system during each season, adjusting individual ratings up and down, if necessary, based on player performance.
12. PLAYER CALL-UPS, All LEAGUES
A pool of players will be established by the SSSA Board of Directors, based on player preference for days of the week from his data sheet.  This call-up player list is to be used when a team needs players to fill their roster.  The additional player’s rating must be no better than a rating equal to that of a missing player (see rule 12.e).  Managers, who opt to field only 11 players and then suffer injuries and be left with only 9 or 10 players on the field, may not ask the opposing team for a catcher.  Before play begins on the day in question, managers will inform opposing managers of any players called up for the occasion and the players they are replacing.  This may be done orally or in writing.
a. Gold League – player call-ups
If, the manager does not play with the minimum of players, he must take an out every time the 11th player comes to bat in the batting order.  The manager may not always find an equal player in rating, but he must find a player(s) to avoid an out.  If there are multiple players out, the manager must still pick up players to get to the 11 man minimum rule.  You must inform the opposing manager of missing players and who the replacement players are prior to game time.  The only exceptions to the out rule are if a player is injured during a game, or, a player does not show up to a game in which he was expected to play.                                                                                                                                                                                b. Call-up process, all leagues.  Immediately following that day’s games, the managers will meet to make their call-ups for the following weeks scheduled games.  Should a manager or his representative choose not to attend, that team or teams cannot call up a player until the following day.  The team with the worst record after conclusion of that days play will receive the first selection and the subsequent selections will follow according to the standings, last to first.  The process will continue, last to first, until all attending teams have selected, or waived, their next selection.  Ties in the standings will be broken by a game of chance.  Players may be called up for consecutive weeks when using this rule.
c. The use of an ineligible player, e.g. player with a rating higher than the player being replaced or an unrated player, will result in a forfeited game.  In order to have the protest considered, it must be filed with a Board member on the day of the game or games in question.
d. When a player is forced to leave a game once it has started, the manager may replace that exiting player with any other player as long as the replacement player is rated the same or lower than the exiting player, regardless if the team has a higher rated player not playing or not replaced.
e. During the winter session the Board may allow Tuesday and/or Thursday managers to call-up replacement players with a rating that is up to 1 higher than that of a player being replaced.  However, the maximum rating of a call-up player may be no higher than 4 in this case unless the player being replaced has a rating higher than 4.  If that is the case the manager may call up a replacement player with a rating no higher than the player being replaced.
f. When a player is injured and unable to play for more than 2 weeks, the manager must notify the Board member responsible for roster management.  After a discussion with the manager about the injured player, the Board member will determine if the manager will need a replacement player, and, if so, will notify the rest of the Board of this decision.  The manager must encourage the injured player to return to play as soon as possible regardless of skill level.
g. Once a manager calls up a player, that player must play on the next playing date and the player that has told his manager he could not play, cannot play.
h. A called up player will continue to play with his regular team as applicable.
13. SPRING, SUMMER AND FALL LEAGUES
 Spring, summer and fall leagues may have special rules as determined by the Board of Directors.
14. PLAYOFFS
If, there is a tie for first place at the end of the regularly scheduled season play, either a single playoff game held between these two teams or the winning percentage will determine the league champion.  If there are more than two teams, the Board of Directors will decide the playoff rules.
15. REFUSAL BY A PLAYER TO PLAY
Any drafted or assigned player who chooses not to play for a team that drafts him or quits a league or team, unless the action is due to injury or compelling personal reason (e.g. family issues requiring his presence at a location other than the Sarasota area) will be suspended by majority vote of the Board from playing in any and all SSSA games for a period of one year.  A player may request reinstatement at the conclusion of the one year suspension by turning in a player data sheet for the coming season along with 1 year’s dues which will be nonrefundable should the player again choose not to play with no mitigating circumstances—injury et al.​   



       

                                                  
 

SARASOTA SENIOR SOFTBALL ASSOCIATION (SSSA)
GENERAL RULES AND PROCEDURES

Sarasota Senior Softball Association 

BY-LAWS
OF THE
SARASOTA SENIOR SOFTBALL ASSOCIATION
July 28 2015


ARTICLE I
IDENTITY AND PURPOSE
Sarasota Senior Softball has been organized for the purpose of providing a framework in which men who are 55 years of age and over can play softball in an organized league format.


ARTICLE II
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The affairs of the organization shall be managed by a Board of Directors consisting of nine (9) directors. A majority of the Board of Directors shall constitute a quorum to transact business at any meeting of the Board. The action of a majority present at a meeting at which a quorum is present shall constitute the action of the entire Board of Directors. (If only five Directors attend a meeting, then all must be in the affirmative.) The exception to the above will be that any change in the By-Laws will require six (6) affirmative votes of the Board of Directors.
Any vacancy occurring on the Board of Directors shall be filled by the Board of Directors.


ARTICLE III
NOMINATING AND ELECTION OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
There will be an election held each year on the second Monday and Tuesday of March for the purpose of electing a Board of Directors.
*The Board will consist of nine (9) members and their responsibilities are to govern the Senior Softball Leagues.
*Any person who is on a roster of a Senior Softball League Team in Sarasota, and has resided in the State of Florida for thirty (30) weeks of the previous fifty-two (52) weeks prior to the date set for the Board of Directors Election, may submit his name in nomination as a candidate for the Board.
In addition, all candidates for nomination to the Board Of Directors agree that, if elected, they will participate as an active player in either at least one fall/winter League during their tenure as a Board member.
The Board reserves the right to refuse any nomination if doubt exists about the qualifications.
*A candidate for nomination to the Board of Directors must submit his name to the current President, in writing, no later than the second (2nd) Monday in February.
*Ballots will be prepared and made available to all current Senior Softball League players who are present on the second Monday and Tuesday of March so that they may cast their vote. Ballots will be available at the 17th Street location.
*The current Board of Directors will be responsible for preparing and distributing the ballots on Election Day.
*The votes will be counted by three (3) players appointed by the Board of Directors that are not on the current Board of Directors and who are not candidates in the election. These three (3) players are responsible for counting and giving the results to the President. The winners of the election will be contacted by the President as soon as possible after the election is completed, but no later than the day after the election.
*Five (5) directors will be elected in the odd-numbered years and four (4) directors in the even-numbered years; all terms will be for two (2) years. 


ARTICLE IV
POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The Board of Directors shall have the power:
*To call meetings of the Board
*To appoint and remove Officers
*To collect such monies as necessary to run the organization
*To authorize and cause the organization to enter into Contracts as needed
*To conduct any and all other business that may be decided on by the Board
The Board of Directors shall have the following duties:
*To conduct any Board of Directors meeting by Roberts Rules of Order
*To cause to be kept a complete record of all of its actions, including minutes of meetings
*To suspend or remove a manager who does not adhere to or enforce the rules set down by the Board of Directors
* To supervise all Officers and to see that their duties are properly performed
*To cause a full and complete accounting of all organization funds, and to pay all expenses incurred on its behalf.
The President is to present to the Board a preliminary budget outlining current year to date, and the proposed budget for the next fiscal year at the June meeting. The final budget shall be delivered to the Board for approval at the July meeting. The fiscal year  is defined as July 1 thru June 30.


ARTICLE V
OFFICERS
The officers shall consist of a President, a Vice- President, a Secretary and a Treasurer. All Officers, with the possible exception of the Treasurer at the discretion of a majority of the Board, shall be members of the Board of Directors.
All of the Officers shall be elected by the Board of Directors at the next meeting following the last day of March. Each officer shall hold office until his successor shall have been duly elected and qualified, or until his earlier resignation or removal.
A vacancy in any office may be filled by the Board of Directors for the unexpired portion of the term.
All officers shall hold office at the pleasure of the Board of Directors.
The President shall preside at all meetings of the Board of Directors, and shall see that all orders and resolutions of the Board of Directors are carried out.
The Vice- President shall perform all duties of the President in his absence.
The Secretary shall keep and distribute the minutes of all proceedings. He shall keep the records of the organization.
The Treasurer shall receive and deposit in appropriate bank accounts all monies of the organization and shall disburse such funds as directed by the Board of Directors. However, disbursements may be made in the ordinary course of business conducted within limits set by the Board of Directors. The Treasurer shall make a report to the Board of Directors at regularly called meetings.
.