Rule Clarification – Substitution
We’ve had some questions around the substitution rules, specifically in our 10U league, but would apply to 10U, 13U and 18U.
From the 10U rules, rule #7 states;
FREE SUBSTITUTION WILL NOT BE ALLOWED. Players can re-enter one time as long as they occupy their original spot in the lineup. Different subs should be used each night if you have more than 9 players and subs should not sit the bench more than one inning. Coach will notify plate umpire when subs enter or re-enter who will notify the other coach or scorekeeper.
Our rules are modeled after USA Softball, or what was once ASA. We do make some adjustments, and exceptions, however rules of play are followed as closely as possible.
The USA Softball rules state: any player may be substituted for or replaced and re-entered once, provided the players occupy their same batting position in the batting order. The intent is once you are replaced and leave the game a second time you are out of the game and can no longer participate.
With this rule, once a starting player comes out of the game, they may re-enter the game once, in the same spot of the batting order which they started the game.
A player who is a sub, once they are taken back out of the game they may not re-enter, with exceptions being a courtesy runner for an injured player.
Most of the questions around this rule revolve around “subs should not sit the bench more than one inning”.
We are a rec league, and our primary goal is to teach kids the game and make sure they have fun.
In our younger leagues, where time limits are 1hr 15 minutes, most games will not last longer than 4 innings. This is why we stipulate that a player who is a sub, sit no more than one inning.
In some cases we can be flexible and stretch that to two innings, but to be clear, we expect all players to play at least two to three innings, and not to be a sub consistently. We expect coaches to rotate players as much as possible in the roles of starters and subs.
The only way kids get better and have fun, is to get time on the field and at bats.