Softball Rules

Any intramural policies not mentioned here may be found in the Intramural Handbook. By participating in Intramural Sports, the participant agrees to abide by all Intramural rules and policies. 


Following each game, each team will receive a sportsmanship rating between 0.0 and 4.0.


Any unsportsmanlike actions may be forwarded to Judicial Affairs and may include revocation of intramural sports and/or Campus Recreation privileges.

Sportmanship Rating
Score Player & Team Behavior  
4.0 Always respectful to officials and opposing team.
No complaining or arguing.
Does not comment about officials’ calls.
3.0 Usually respectful to officials and opposing team.
Minimal arguing or complaining about officials.
Maximum one unsportsmanlike penalty issued.
2.0 Consistent dissent or disrespect to officials/opposing team.
Consistent arguing and/or complaining about officials’ calls.
Maximum of two unsportsmanlike penalties or one ejection.
1.0 Excessive complaining, dissent or disrespect to officials/opposing team.
Contact or provocation of officials or opposing team members not inherent to the sport.
Any player involved in a fight.
Maximum of three unsportsmanlike penalties or two ejections.
0.0 Team and/or players are unsafe/out of control.
Multiple players on team fighting.
Destruction or abuse of UC property.

* A team that receives a "0" rating will be suspended from competition until its captain meets with the Assistant Director or Coordinator of Intramural Sports. The team may be removed from competition.


To be eligible to play intramural sports at the University of Cincinnati, a participant must be a current UC student (taking classes in the same semester), faculty, or staff AND possess an active membership to UC Campus Recreation Center.


Uptown, full-time UC students receive a Campus Recreation membership through full payment of the Campus Life Fee. All other populations will need to purchase a membership in order to be eligible to play.


Each eligible participant may play on one coed and one non-coed team per sport, per season.


Every game, each participant must check in with the intramural official with a valid Bearcat card.


The game will consist of seven (7) innings or 50 minutes, whichever comes first.


Should time expire, an inning that has started will be completed.


Mercy (Run) Rule: The game will end if one team obtains a score differential of 15 runs or more after 4 ½ (or 5) innings.


The home team will have the opportunity to complete the bottom half of the inning, even if the away team has obtained a score differential of 15 or more runs.


Teams are limited to 10 runs scored in an innings. After the 10th run scored in any half inning, teams will switch or the inning will end, whichever is appropriate.


Late Penalties


If a team is between one (1) and five (5) minutes late, the other team may receive three (3) runs, and the late team loses an at bat.


If a team is between six (6) and 10 minutes late, the other team may receive seven (7) runs, and the late team loses an at bat.


If a team is 10 or more minutes late, they will forfeit the game.


There is no overtime during the regular season.


During playoffs if a game results in a tie at the end of regulation, extra innings will be played until a winner is determined.


Jewelry is not allowed during intramural play. This includes earrings, bracelets, necklaces, and fitness trackers, among other things.


Headwear is permitted during intramural softball play.  This includes bandanas and baseball caps.


All players must wear athletic clothing and footwear.


Rubber molded cleats are the only cleats permitted. Removable or metal cleats are prohibited.


Casts or braces must be covered with padded materials.


Medical jewelry is allowed and must be taped down with athletic tape.


A regular 12" softball will be used.  Campus Recreation will provide softballs.  Softballs brought by teams will not be allowed during play.


Campus Recreation will have legal softball bats for use.  Teams bringing their own bats must get each bat checked by umpires prior to the game.  Bats must be on the Team USA approved bats list to be allowed.


Campus Recreation does not provide gloves.  Players should bring their own gloves to each game.


A team may have up to 20 players on its’ roster.


A team may begin play with a minimum of eight (8) players.


Coed teams


Playing with 10 players must have five (5) players of each gender.


Playing with nine (9) players must have five (5) players of one gender and four (4) players of the other gender.


Playing with eight (8) players must have four (4) players of each gender.


Additional players may be added until the start of the fourth inning.


If at any time a team is only able to field seven (7) or less players, the team will forfeit.


Extra Player Rule: Teams may elect to use an extra player under the following conditions:


If a team elects to use an extra player (EP), it must be made known prior to the beginning of the game.

The extra player must be listed on the score sheet in the regular batting order.

If an extra player is used, all 11 players must kick (bat), and any 10 may play the field.


Coed teams are required to add both a male and female extra player.

If extra players are used in this situation, all 12 must kick (bat), and any 10 may play the field.


Defensive positions may change per inning, but the batting order must remain the same.


Once playoffs begin, players may not be added to the roster.


Prior to noon on the start date, a team must have at least five players confirmed on its’ IMLeagues roster. Teams that fail to do so will have two sportsmanship points deducted from its’ first regular season game.


A player may substitute for one (1) person in the lineup.


Once a substitute has entered the lineup, he or she must play for a full inning (team’s offensive and defensive halves of an inning).


Once a player has been replaced, he or she must re-enter the game in the same original position in the batting order.


All substitutions must check in with the home plate umpire.


If a ball hits into the seats of the first three sections of bleachers in right field, beyond the area desginated by cones (approximately 20 rows up), it is a home run.


If the ball lands in the first three sections of bleachers, but does not go beyond the designated area, it will only be a ground rule double.


If a ball lands anywhere, without bouncing, over the wall in the fourth sectino of bleachers or any further section, it is a home run.


Any ball that bounces into the bleachers will be a ground rule double.


A strike mat will be placed as an extension of home plate.


If a legally pitched ball hits the mat or the plate, it is a strike (includes all sides of the plate/mat).


If a legally pitched ball does not hit either the plate or the mat, it is a ball.


A legal pitch must have an arc between six and 12 feet.


The count begins at one ball and one strike.


A batter with two strikes who hits a foul ball on the ensuing pitch will be out.


If a ball hit into the outfield becomes lodged under a bench, or becomes unplayable by the outfielder, the outfielder should put their hands up, and it will be ruled a ground rule double.


The infield fly rule will be in effect when:

  1. There are less than two outs.
  2. There are runners on first and second or the bases are loaded.
  3. The batter hits a pop fly in the infield.


The umpire will announce, "Infield Fly" when the above conditions exist.  This is a judgment call, and not subject to a protest.


As a result of this situation, the batter will automatically be out.


Runners may advance at their own risk.


Runners are not permitted to steal at any time.


If a player leaves the bag before the batter hits the ball, they will be out.


Runners must slide or give up on all non-forced outs that are close.


Sliding or diving head first into a base is not recommended.  If a player dives or slides head first, serious injury may occur.


If a ball is overthrown and goes out of bounds, a runner will receive the base they were going to at the time and one additional base.


If a player reaches base safely, but is too severely injured to run, the player sharing that spot in the battin order will replace the injured runner.


If that spot is not shared, the last person to make an out will replace the runner.  In coed, the last person to make an out of the same gender will replace the runner.


Intramural softball will be played according to Team USA Softball rules except where adaptations have been made in these rules.