Chicago Ball Rules

Golden Rule

First and foremost all PHX Fray leagues are 50% Social and 50% Sport. We do have officials; however, we expect individuals to respect the league’s culture of fair and fun play. Foul language and rough play will not be tolerated and individuals who cannot adhere to our standards of fair play and sportsmanship may be asked to leave the league. We want everyone to be social while enjoying a great sport, and will do whatever we can to make sure all players are having fun.

PHX Fray is proud to relieve captains of the burden of paying for full teams. While captains and players are able to prepay for additional players and or full teams, it is not a requirement for participation in our leagues. We welcome individual player payments. We are also proud to welcome those who do not have a full team (small groups and free agents) to participate in our league.Our primary mission is to make it easier for people to have fun and get involved with social sports and these policies help accomplish that goal.Because of these policies, all registrations are on a first come first serve basis and any roster that does not reach our standard size (based on each sport) is eligible to receive free agents and or small group by the league. Rosters made up of primarily free agents and or a collection of small groups may field more players than the standard roster size. This policy is in place to help ensure free agent teams are able to consistently field teams each week.

Chicago- Style Rules:
All Rules are the same as other PHX Fray softball leagues, with a couple notable differences:

  • Games will be played with a “smush” ball; it’s larger and softer than a softball
  • Players will not play with gloves! Smush balls don’t travel as fast, and are relatively soft, so they can be caught bare-handed
  • Bat choices are at the discretion of the league. The league will be contacted prior to the start of the season if it’s a wooden-bat only league, or if metal bats are acceptable as well

1. Ten (10) players (at least 3 females) in the field at all time.

A. THERE ARE NO POSITION REQUIREMENTS of any players, i.e. there need not be 2 females in outfield and 2 in the infield) USS rules will allow a team to play with a minimum of seven (7) players (at least 2 females).

2. If only two (2) females are present the team must take an out when it comes to the tenth batter.

3. The Minimum number of players in the field/your starting line up is 7 (5 men/2 women).

4. If playing with eight (8) players, no more than six (6) men are allowed on the field at on time.

5. If playing with nine (9) or more players, no more than seven (7) men are allowed on the field at one time.

6. Batting order ratio MUST always be followed no matter how many men are playing. (see Gameplay #2)

General Rules

A “strike mat” will be used to determine sure strikes, if the softball touches any part of the mat OR home plate on a legal pitch (6’-12’ arc), it will be considered a strike.

All batters will start with a one ball, one strike count.

1. If a male is walked on three (3) straight balls with two (2) outs on the board, and a female follows him in the batting order, the female has the choice to take a walk or bat. The umpire will enforce this rule upon request; however, they will not be responsible for notifying the batter in each walk situation. The umpire must be made aware that a female is on deck before the 2nd pitch is thrown.

2. A batter with two (2) strikes is allowed one (1) courtesy foul ball. On the 2nd foul after the batter has two (2) strikes the batter will be called out.

3. All games are seven (7) innings or one (1) hour; the last inning will start 10 – 15 minutes to the hour. The umpire will enforce this rule and will make the call at the top of the final inning.

A. Some divisions may have shorter or longer game schedules depending on the season.

4. Due to differing circumstances in each and every game, some games will finish short on an hour in length, while others might run over the hour mark. Please respect your umpire call in this matter. He/she must keep all games on time in fairness to teams playing later hours and due to facility permit restrictions.

5. Teams may bat more than ten (10) players. Prior to regular season games, teams must request lineups sheet in order to raise lineup objects during the game. For tournaments, the umpire will require a line sheet.

6. All players in the field must be listed in the batting order. Players do not have to play in the field in order to bat.

7. Games start on time! Teams must be prepared to play.
Forfeit rule: 10 minutes after game time. If one team has less than the minimum number of players (7 total – 2 females) at ten past the designated start time, the game will be deemed a forfeit.


1. PHX Fray will provide all bases and balls for each game. No Gloves are required! It is also recommended that teams bring their own bats though at least one approved bat will be provided. (In Leagues that are marked as Wooden Bat Only the League will provide such bat)


3. Any equipment in question should be brought to the attention of the umpire. The umpire will make all final decisions with regard to equipment discrepancies. During the playoffs, teams may not use subs and may only use players on their roster. Playoff Eligibility: teams that notch 2 or more forfeits during the regular season will not be eligible for the playoffs

Game Play

1. All thrown balls are deemed out of play when:

A. The ball is thrown over the fence / road.

B. The ball is thrown beyond the fence / road / safe area of play.

C. The ball is thrown beyond the imaginary line extending from the End of the backstop (if there is no fence).

D. This imaginary line applies to overthrows and caught fly foul balls.

E. If the ball is overthrown and hits the fence behind the 1st or 3rd base lines, this is NOT considered out of play and the runner may advance, BUT at his/her own risk.

F. On overthrows out of play, the runner is granted the base he/she is going to (at the point of the throw) plus one more. Note: in cases where a base runner runs past first base, he/she must make a clearly aggressive turn towards second base to be granted 2nd and 3rd in overthrow situations.

2. Batting order must consist of a 2-1 ratio. (For every 2 male batters in a row a female batter must be next, ie. every third batter must be a female.

A. Females can bat multiple times in the lineup to achieve this ratio.

If females are batting more than once in a lineup their rotation must stay in order. All females must evenly rotate through the female batting positions.

B. In order to ensure all players are able to bat females may “double up” or rotate through the required female slots as described above.

3. Outfield Encroachment Line: Outfielders may not play closer that 150 feet from home plate. This line is to encourage fair play and will be set up by your umpire and marked by cones down the foul lines and/or across the field.

4. Game mercy rule: 12 runs up after five complete innings – losing teams option.

5. Inning run limit rule: There will be a five (5) run limit per inning for innings 1-4.(Exception: unlimited runs may be scored if one of the innings 1-4 is declared the final inning of the game.) Unlimited runs may be scored in innings 5, 6, and 7 always.

6. No lead offs or stealing, runners can leave the base once the ball is hit by the batter.If a runner leaves early, the ball is dead and the runner is declared out. If this is the 3rd out of the inning the batter will be first up in the next inning

7. On an infield fly (any fly ball within the infield with significant arc and deemed an “easy catch”) with less than 2 outs and runners on 1st and 2nd or 1st, 2nd and 3rd, the batter is automatically out and runners can advance, BUT at their own risk.

8. Base runner to defensive player contact will be closely watched by the ump.

A. Any excessive contact or collision will result in an “out” and/or ejection. This includes contact with the catcher. Sliding is allowed. Any intentional (in the eyes of the monitor) interference with the defensive player, the runner and the batter will be called out.

B. For plays between 3rd and home, there is no contact allowed. When a runner passes the “commit line” (the halfway point between third and home which will be at the discretion of the ump), they can be called out at home if the defense gets the ball to the ”safety home plate” first. If the runner retreats to 3rd, and the defense gets the ball to 3rd before the runner, then they are also out on the force.

i. The catcher or any defensive player playing as catcher must play the ball on the Defensive home plate which is located about 5 feet in front of the normal plate. When the catch is made and the player is in this position the umpire will consider this moment as contact with the player or base.

ii. Any runners coming home must cross the Offensive home plate (where you hit from) before this mark is reached by the defensive player. If contact is made the player will be declared safe automatically.

iii. Additionally, any runner that touches the Defensive home plate rather than the Offensive one will automatically be called out.

C. All plays between home plate and first base are force plays. There is no contact allowed on these plays. If contact is made with the runner, the runner will be ruled safe. If a runner “rounds” first and heads for second the runner can be tagged out.

D. The strike mat is an extension of home plate and must be used by the runner for any slides / home plate crossings for safety purposes.

9. All batting count starts at 1-1 (One ball, one strike).

10. No bunting.

A Pitch has to have a slow pitch arch at least 6 ft. and no higher than 12ft off the ground at its highest point to be considered a legal pitch.

Miscellaneous Rules

1. If a rainout occurs while a game is in progress, three (3) innings must be completed for the game to count. The umpire clock is the game clock and will inform both teams when the game has started.

2. Games ending before the three (3) innings have concluded will be rescheduled and played as a new game.

3. There is no minimum number

4. of innings for a complete game if the time limit has been satisfied.

5. If two teams are tied at the end of the season below are the tie breakers:

A. Head to head
B. Run differential
C. Record versus other playoff teams
D. Fewest runs allowed
E. Most runs score
F. Flip a coin
G. All other rules follow standard slow pitch ASA guidelines.