RULES

HKL Rules and Regulations v3.14159

Rule changes are voted on prior to season start.  Please become familiar with rules for reffing.

1.0 The Field
a. All participants must respect and obey all rules and regulations of the field of play.
b. The strike zone extends one foot on either side of home plate, and one foot high.
c. Any ball touched by a player or referee wholly or partially in fair territory is automatically in play. A participant jumping from fair territory is in fair territory while in the air. A participant jumping from foul territory is in foul territory while in the air.

2.0 Equipment
a. Athletic shoes are require. No spikes of any kind are allowed.
b. An official 10” kickball must be used. Any other type of ball is not allowed.

3.0 Officials
a. Officials will be provided by the HKL for each game.
b. The official game referees have the final ruling; however, league commissioners and team captains may be consulted concerning the official rules.

4.0 Teams
a. Each team must consist of at least 11 players, and no more than 20.
b. Teams must field at least 8 players, and no more than 11. If fielding more than 8 players, one player must play the position of catcher.
c. If you do not have enough of a particular sex, but can field 8 players, you must play short and will get an automatic out when that position is reached in the batting lineup.
d. All players can kick, but no more than 2 men or 2 women can kick in a row. Any violations will result in an automatic out.
e. The kicking order must be presented to the umpire before the game, and cannot change once the game has started. Any violations will result in an automatic out.
f. Each team will have one captain, who will ensure that:
1. All team players present must kick, but do not have to field.
2. All team players must kick in the same repeated order designated by the captain.
3. Only the captain may dispute calls.
g. Teams may not field more than 7 players of the same sex.
h. Substitutions:
a. During the regular season, teams can pick up a substitute player only if they are short of 11 players.
b. Teams are not allowed to add substitute players in the playoffs.

5.0 Regulation Games
a. Regulations games last 7 full innings or one hour. Whichever occurs first. In the event of a tie score after 7 innings, the game shall be marked as a tie.
b. A game that is called off by the game referee after 3 full innings of play shall be considered a regulation game.
c. The game score at the end of the last full inning shall be the final score.
d. A game called off by the game referee before the end of three full innings shall not be considered a full game and shall be rescheduled if possible.
e. A team failing to field at least 8 players (see 4.b and 4.c) within 10 minutes after scheduled game time shall forfeit the game. All forfeits count as a loss.
f. A regulation game may be ended at the discretion of the losing team, if losing by 12 or more runs at any point in the game. This will be marked as a regulation game.

6.0 Pitching
a. Pitching must be underhanded and released with one hand.
b. No bouncies. A pitch that is higher than one foot at the plate and called as such, results in a ball. Any pitch that bounces excessively high, and called as such, results in a ball. During the last bounce prior to crossing the plate, the ball cannot exceed a foot in height from the bottom of the ball.
c. The pitcher must stay behind the pitcher strip until the ball is kicked. Failure to do so results in a ball.
d. No player may advance beyond the 1st-3rd base diagonal until the ball is kicked, however, anyone can field a bunt. Failure to abide by this rule results in a ball.
e. The catcher must field directly behind the kicker and may not cross home plate, nor be positioned forward of the kicker before the ball is kicked. Failure to abide by this rule results in a ball.
f. The strike zone extends to one foot on either side of home plate, and one foot high. A pitch outside the strike zone is a ball.

7.0 Kicking
a. A kick must be made by foot or leg, below the knee. Anything hitting or above the knee is a foul. (see 11.b.vi)
b. All kicks must occur at or behind home plate. A kicker may step on home plate to kick. If the planting foot is in front of home plate, the kick is a foul (see 11.b.iii)
c. Bunting is NOT allowed.  Seriously, it takes the fun out of the game… It is the umpire’s discretion to call a bunt. If the kicker bunts, the kick is a foul.

8.0 Running
a. Runners must stay within the baseline.
b. Fielders must stay out of the baseline. Fielders trying to make an out on base can have their foot on base, but must lean out of the baseline. Runners hindered by any fielder, not making an active play on the ball, shall be safe at the base to which they were running.
c. Neither leading off base, nor stealing a base is allowed. A runner may advance once the ball is kicked. A runner off his/her base when the ball is kicked is out.
d. Hitting a runner’s neck or head with the ball is not allowed, except when the runner is sliding. Any runner hit in the head or neck while running is safe, and advances to the base they were running toward when the ball hit the runner. If the runner intentionally uses the head or neck to block the ball, the runner is out.
e. If the runner intentionally hits or kicks the ball out of bounds after being tagged out, the play is dead and runners must return to their original bases.
f. Tag-ups. After a kicked ball is caught, and the runners are off the base, they must tag their originating base before running to the next base. If the runner has not moved off the base before the ball is touched, the runner can advance as soon as a defensive player touches the ball. This situation is usually referred to as the “DiMaggio Rule”
g. All ties go to the runner. Runners may overrun first base.
h. On an overthrow, all players advance as far as they can get, even if the ball is out of bounds. Run Forest… Ruuuuuun!
i. Running past another runner is not allowed. Any runner passed by another runner is out.

9.0 Strikes
a. A count of two strikes is an out.
b. A strike is:
i. A pitch within the strike zone that is not kicked
ii. an attempted kick missed by the kicker inside or outside the strike zone.

10.0 Balls
a. A count of three balls advances the runner to first base.
b. A ball is:
i. A pitch outside of the strike zone, as judged by the referee, where a kick is not attempted.
ii. An illegal bouncy
iii. Any fielder or pitcher advancing on home plate before the ball is kicked (6d).
iv. Any catcher crossing home plate before the runner, or failing to field behind the kicker (6e).
c. Intentional walking a player is not allowed. If the umpire feels the pitcher is intentionally walking a player, the kicker is granted a double. The pitcher must leave the game and be replaced by a player on the field, thus leaving the pitching team a player short for the remainder of the game.

11.0 Fouls
a. A count of three fouls is an out.
b. A foul is:
i. A ball landing out of bounds
ii. A kick landing in bounds, but traveling out of bounds on its own at any time before reaching first or third base. (any ball still in bounds that is touched by an in bounds player is automatically in bounds.)
iii. A kick in front of home plate (7c). If the kick is a fly ball, and caught, the kicker is out.
iv. A kickball kicked or touched more than once in foul territory or stopped by the kicker in foul territory.
v. A kicked ball in flight touched by a fielder in foul territory and not caught.
vi. A kick made above the knee (7b). If the kick is a fly ball, and caught, the kicker is out.
vii. A double kick (example, ball hits foot and then shin).
viii. A kicker who attempts to bunt.

12.0 Outs
a. A count of three outs by a team completes the teams half of the inning.
b. An out is:
i. A count of 2 strikes or 3 fouls.
ii. A runner who is touched by the ball, or who touches the ball at ANY time while not on base while the ball is in play.
iii. Any kicked ball, fair or foul, that is caught out of the air. A foul or fair ball caught off the fence, out of the air, is an out.
iv. A ball tag on a base to which a runner is forced to run.
v. A runner off his/her base when the ball is kicked.
c. Hitting the base with the ball does not count as an out. The fielder must hit the runner with the ball, or maintain control

13.0 Ball in Play
a. Once the pitcher has the ball in control and on the mound the play ends.
b. If a runner intentionally touches or stops the ball, the play ends, and the runner is out ( 12.b.ii).
c. Interference is when any non-fielder, runner, or non permanent object touches the ball. Any time there is interference, play automatically stops and runners advance to the base to which they were headed.

14.0 Ghost Men
a. Ghost men are not allowed.

15.0 Substitution
a. The pitcher may be replaced on the mound only once per inning, unless injury forces a substitution.
b. Runners may only be substituted by a runner of the same sex once the initial runner successfully makes it to or beyond first base. The substitute runner takes over that kicking order position, and if their original position is reached while they are still on base, an out will occur.
c. A pinch runner is allowed, but must be of the same sex. The runner must line up with home plate before the ball is kicked.
a. If a player plays the field (with the exception of catcher), they are not allowed a pinch runner
b. If a player plays the field and then injures themselves, requiring a pinch runner, they may not return to the field (except to play catcher).
c. If a player starts a game with a pinch runner, the injured player can only play catcher. If the injured player takes the field, all future at bats will be an out.

16.0 Other Rules
a. A Referees cannot be talking on cell phones while refereeing.
b. If a rule is not otherwise stated here, standard softball rules hold.
c. There is no infield fly rule.
d. You can tag up on a foul ball that is caught out of the air for an out.
e. Any natural obstacles that a kick hits will result in a do-over. i.e., a tree hanging over the field.
f. There are no errors.  I mean, there are, but we don’t count them…
g. Coaches are responsible for controlling their team. We’re adults, please act like it.
h. Hudson County laws prohibit alcohol consumption in public parks, therefore, drinking is not allowed at the fields.
i. If you pop a ball, you must buy the commissioner a 6-pack.

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