Develop more advanced skills and understanding of the rules and strategy of the game.
Must be registered in seventh or eighth grade for the school year in which the season takes place. (Sixth graders may participate in the Major League if availability exists and a determination is made that the individual child is ready (through try-out))
Usually three times per week, typically two games and one practice. Games are usually during the week with occasional weekend make-up games or practices.
Rules of PONY fast-pitch softball are used. Games are seven innings. All players bat in the line-up each game.
This is a very competitive league. Scorebooks are kept, and there is a championship game at the end of the season. All teams make the playoffs.
None required, although for safety reasons players must be confident to stand at home plate with live pitchers who throw at least as hard as the machine.
None required, although coaches should have a solid understanding of the rules of softball. All coaches must participate in and pass a CORI criminal background check.
PONY Fast Pitch Rules apply with the following highlights/modifications:
7 inning games. No time limit on games except for darkness (at the discretion of the umpire) or for field time limitation (no new innings can be started if less than 15 minutes until next scheduled game). A game is official after 4 innings (home team does not need to bat in their half of the fourth inning if ahead).
Pitching rubber is at 43 feet.
Scorebook is kept.
Continuous batting order/ free substitution of players in the field.
5 runs per inning rule/ waived in the 7th or last inning (no limit in last inning).
A team must have eight players in order to play. Less than eight players will result in a forfeit.
For each game, it is strongly encouraged that a pitcher may pitch in a maximum of five (5) innings (one pitch in any inning counts as an inning).
The host and/or home team is responsible for canceling the umpire on the day of the game in case of rainouts (no later than 4:00 PM).
15 run mercy rule (home team has last at bat if behind).
Batters must wear helmets with cages and chin straps.
Protective face cages for pitchers and 3rd basemen are encouraged but not mandatory (mandatory in Norfolk).
If a player is injured during a game and cannot continue or leaves in the middle of the game for other reasons, that player’s position in the order is skipped for the remainder of the game without penalty (i.e. no automatic out). If a player is late to the game, the player should be inserted at the end of the batting order.
A courtesy runner is strongly encouraged for the pitcher or catcher - runner shall be the last batter of the previous inning (and second to last batter of the previous inning if both pitcher and catcher are on base at the same time).
No slashing (faking bunt, then hitting away)
Slap hitting and drag bunting are allowed
Infield fly rule in effect
Players must slide or avoid contact. All sliding rule decisions are at the discretion of the umpire.
Pitcher shall be removed from pitching after directly hitting 3 batters in an inning or 5 in the course of the game (bounced pitches will not count).