CMSL Playing Rules

CMSL Playing Rules 2023

CMSL follows the Softball Canada Rulebook excluding the co-ed rules and with the following additions;

  1. Every team Coach/Representative must be able to produce all league rules. If a team is challenged by the opposition that they are playing an illegal player, at the end of the game the player in questions must sign the scoresheet. It is the responsibility of the team in question to bring this to the attention of the League Executive. If a team then decides to protest, see Operating Rule #8. An illegal player is anyone under the age of 18, a rostered player to another team within the same Division, an un-rostered player or a suspended player.
  2. Both Teams are responsible for submitting the official completed scores to the Division Rep after each game. In the event of ties, both teams should submit their scoresheet. Point standings will be based on those official scores. NOTE: All teams are responsible for retaining copies of their scoresheets and supplying them to the League upon request.
  3. The HOME team is responsible for supplying game balls, one new 12“ ball, one relatively new 12” ball and one new 11” ball. ONLY ball that will be acceptable for play is the Worth Hot Dot.
  4. 4. ALCOHOL: Drinking alcohol is not permitted on the field or bench area or parking lot per City of Calgary Bylaws. Remember - umpires can eject you from the game for drinking.

The City of Calgary will be regulating this rule through their grounds keepers, the City will notify Softball Calgary of any infractions and Softball Calgary will then suspend the affected team(s).

  1. WALK RULE: The CMSL follows the below stated rule

If a male batter, followed immediately by a female batter, is walked in four (4) or less pitches without a strike being thrown, he is awarded second, the following female must bat. This includes intentional walks. If the batter's first pitch is a strike and the pitcher chooses to intentionally walk that batter, then the batter is awarded first base only.

  1. Extra Player (EP): is optional and allowed.  You may have 1 extra male and/or 1 extra female in your lineup. If an extra player is used, it must be made known prior to the start of the game and be listed on the score sheet in the regular batting order. If one is used it can be of either gender. If two are used then they need to be of each gender. The EP(s) must be used for the entire game. Failure to complete the game with the EP(s) results in a forfeiture of the game.

The EP must remain in the same position in the batting order for the entire game. The EP may be substituted at any time by either a pinch-hitter or a pinch runner who then becomes the EP. The substituted player must be a player who has not yet been in the game. The substituted player can be male or female as long as the four (4) female, six (6) male ratios are maintained on the field. The starting EP(s) can re-enter providing they maintain the same batting position whenever they are in the line-up.

If an EP is used, all eleven(or twelve) must bat and any ten can play defense, as long as the 6 and 4 ratio must be maintained. Defensive positions can be changed but the batting order must remain the same.

  1. STEEL CLEATS: Absolutely no steel cleats allowed, if anyone is caught with steel cleats, it is an automatic ejection from the game.
  2. MERCY RULE: Fifteen (15) runs after five (5) or more complete innings.
  3. MAXIMUM RUNS PER INNING: There is a maximum of seven (7) runs allowed per inning; except for the last inning which is open. ie: if the umpire calls last inning in the sixth inning, the sixth inning is open.
  4. SAFETY LINE (at Home Plate): A line is drawn in foul territory starting at the front corner of home plate (closest to third base) and extending 10 feet perpendicular to the third base line. If the runner contacts the ground on or beyond the line prior to being legally tagged or prior to a defensive player legally holding the ball while in contact with home plate; the runner shall be declared safe. If any offensive contact is made with home plate, the runner will be called out.
  5. COMMITMENT LINE: A line drawn 21 feet from the back of home plate and perpendicular to the third base line. When a runner crosses this line, i.e. one foot completely over the line and touching the ground; but does not cross the safe line; the runner shall be called out if the ball is legally held by a defensive player who is in contact with home plate. No tag is necessary. Runners who have not crossed the line or runners, who cross the line but must tag up on a caught fly ball, may return to their base with liability to be put out.
  6. SUBSTITUTIONS: Male for male, female for female except when starting with less than six (6) men and four (4) women. ie. five (5) and five (5) or six (6) women and four (4) men.
  7. DRESS REQUIREMENTS: Uniforms are encouraged to be worn by all members of a team.
  8. INTERNATIONAL TIE BREAKING RULE: is in effect during the regular season and playoffs, where time and playing conditions allow. Last BATTER in the previous inning will start on second (2nd) base, the teams will start with 0 out.
  9. LEAGUE PLAYER RULES: a) Six men and four women b) Minimum player rule: A complete game may be played with a minimum of nine (9) players

with the tenth (10th) batter as an automatic out. Minimum women - three (3), maximum women - six (6); minimum men - four (4), maximum men - six (6). If starting with 9 players, the tenth (10th) player will be inserted into the game at the top of an inning.

     16. TIME LIMIT:

           - May 1st to July 31st: Game 1 will start at 6:15pm. No new inning will be started after 7:30pm.(regardless of start time) Game 2 will start at 7:40pm. No new inning will be started after 8:55pm.(regardless of start time)

           - August 1st to end of regular season: Game 1 will start at 6:15pm. No new inning will be started after 7:20pm.(regardless of start time) Game 2 will start at 7:35pm. No new inning will be started after 8:40pm.(regardless of start time)

           A ten (10) minute grace period is allowed at the start of each game. Teams are required to start at game time if they have the minimum required nine (9) players.

  1. The umpires are the sole judge of whether a game will begin or be called due to rain, cold, darkness or diamond conditions. All teams must appear at the diamond for a decision on whether the game is a go, unless cancelled by the Facility chairman. All rainouts and umpire no-shows must be reported immediately to your Division Rep. Remember, just because the first game was cancelled does not mean the second game will also be cancelled. If your team leaves before the decision on the final game you are risking default.
  2. MAKE-UP GAMES: Only those games not completed up to at least five (5) innings, due to weather, will be made up. The first 4 Make-up games will be played in the 2 weeks following the end of regular season play.(when possible based upon diamond availability and number of teams per division) Games that are rained out and cancelled beyond the first 4 will be considered draws. Teams who do not appear for a make-up game(s) will forfeit the potential points and be subject to fines. The League Executive will make every effort to accommodate the teams involved; however, teams must realize the League schedules override all other leagues or tournaments.
  3. PLAYOFF STRUCTURE: Teams advance to the playoffs based on their point standings.  **If there is an odd number of teams, then standings will be based on win percentage.  The Executive will determine the number of teams advancing each year depending on the number of teams within each division.
  4. In the event of a tie in points (or win percentage if odd number of teams), after regular season play, the following procedure (in order stated) will be used to determine playoff positions:                                                                                                                                                                                                      (a) points or win percentage                                                                                                                                                                                                    (b) head to head record of games played against each other                                                                                                                                                      (c) total plus minus (runs for subtract runs against) between all games played against each other by the tied teams                                                                      (d) total plus minus for the season                                                                                                                                                                                        (e) coin flip                                                                                                         

  21. HOMERUNS EXCEEDED: Each team is allowed four (4) homeruns per game. When both teams reach the 4 homerun limit, the Plus 1 rule applies. Any homeruns outside of the limit of the 4 Plus 1 rule are deemed an out.

22. Shouldice Rule: For all games played at Shouldice Athletic Park(Diamonds 3, 4, 5 and 6) a homerun over the limit will be a strike. Please note that with 2 strikes a homerun over the limit is an out.

23. WALK-OFF HOMERUN RULE: In the course of play when a ball is hit over the fence and deemed by the umpires as a homerun; the batter and any players occupying a base are required to walk off the field instead of rounding the bases. The batter does not need to proceed to first base or make contact with that base

24. SUSPENSION/EJECTION RULE: When a player is ejected from a game and written up by the umpire, that player will:

  • on first ejection - automatically receive a two (2) game suspension
  • on second ejection -automatically receive a four (4) game suspension and
  • on third ejection -a review will be conducted by the League Executive and Calgary Umpire

Association to deem appropriate suspension.

25. COMPOSITE BATS: For all CMSL games which includes ALL CMSL tournaments, league and playoff games; CMSL adheres to the Approved and Non-Approved lists on the Amateur Softball Association of America (ASA) website (; as well as the United States Specialty Sports Association, (USSSA) website ( If a team is caught using an illegal bat, that team will forfeit that game. The JAK’D bat is considered an approved bat if it has the USSSA thumbprint. JAK’D bats without the USSSA thumbprint will not be allowed for use in CMSL.

26. ROSTERS: The maximum amount of players on a roster is 25. For a player to be eligible for play in the postseason, a player must have played 2 regular season CMSL games in that same year. All players must be rostered with the CMSL by June 15th. 

27. PITCHING DISTANCE: For safety concerns, a pitcher can move up to 10 ft. directly back from the pitcher's rubber for pitching. If a pitcher begins to pitch within the designated 10 ft allowance, he or she does not have to continue pitching at that distance for the remainder at bat. Height of arc will still be in effect.

28. UMPIRE NO SHOWS: In the event of an umpire no-show, teams must umpire their own games. If your umpire is missing, please advise your Division Rep.

29. PINCH RUNNERS: The batter must hit and safely make it to first base before a same gender runner (the player must be on the roster but necessarily on the lineup card) can be used. A maximum of six (6) runners per team, per game allowed.

30. ANTICIPATION / LEAD OFF:  Runners are allowed one step off the bag without the batter contacting the ball. 2 or more steps off the bag without the batter making contact will cause the runner to be called out.

31. DIAMOND 11 - Optimist Park: ANY hit ball clearing the short fence in right field (backing on to Diamond 7) will be deemed a ground rule double.

32. RAINOUTS - Will be determined first by the City prior to 4:30pm and then will be the call of the Senior Umpire(See Rule 17). Whenever possible the League will try and schedule rainouts after Regular Season play before playoffs. 

33. 11 inch ball - Female batters will have the option of hitting the 11” ball. The Home Team will be responsible for providing 1 useable 11” ball per game

34. Bunting - Bunting by a male or female batter is not allowed. Bunting will result in an out with runners returning to their bases.

35. Ladies Pregnancy Rule: If it is evident and/or confirmed to an official that a player is pregnant, then for reasons of safety and for the possible detrimental effect that such participation may have on other players' performance, the league will not knowingly allow a pregnant player to play.

Penalty - The player will be requested to remove herself from the game, if she refuses, she will be ejected from the game.

36. Pitching Mask - As of 2022, all pitchers must wear either a pitching mask or helmet.


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