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Softball Rules

Maximum: 3 players
Minimum: 2 players

1. Each member of the team shall serve in turn and may, if requested, have one trial to get the ball over the net at the start of the first game.

2. The server shall stand with both feet behind the right rear boundary line and may not step on or over the end boundary line until after the serve has been hit.

3. "Side out" is declared when a served ball hits the net. There is no such thing as a net ball on the serve.

4. If a player touches the ball, or the ball touches a player, she is considered as having played the ball.

5. It is legal to contact the ball with any part of the body above the waist as long as the ball rebounds immediately and does not "lay" against the body.

6. It is permissible to run out-of-bounds and play a ball before it contacts an object out-of-bounds. Once a ball contacts any object other than a player out-of-bounds, it isconsidered dead. If it hits the ceiling, the ball is still in play provided it is not the fourth hit and has rebounded to the same side of the net.

7. When a ball touches a boundary line, it is considered good.

8. Players are not permitted to scoop, hold, or lift the ball. The ball must be clearly hit.

9. A ball touching the body more than once in succession is considered as a double hit and is illegal. However, if you block a spike, you may be the next to hit and it counts as the first hit.

10. A ball is kept in play if it hits the net and goes over into the opponent's court during the volley (but not on the serve).

11. A ball hit into the net by a team may still be kept in play provided that the net is not touched by any player and that they have not hit the ball three times.

12. One may play the ball twice during a volley, but not twice in succession, unless played directly off a block.

13. If two players contact the ball simultaneously, it counts as two hits and either may play the next shot.

14. The ball must be returned over the net in three hits or less.

15. Players may not touch the net. If both sides touch the net simultaneously, the ball is declared dead and served again.

16. A spiker must contact the ball on her own side of the net, but may in the course of her follow-through cross over but not touch the net.

17. Fifteen points wins the game (provided there is a two point lead).

18. Rotation shall be in a clockwise direction.

19. Each player shall remain in her position on the court until the service is completed.

20. Each team is permitted two team time-outs per game. The length of the time-out is 30 seconds. Time-outs must be requested of the other team's captain. Requests may only be made when the ball is dead.

21. Substitutes will be included in the order of rotation. Rotate in at the center back position on the change of service. Previous server rotates out.

22. Rest periods between games of a match shall be two minutes.

23. A match in volleyball is complete when one team wins two complete games. IF THE THIRD GAME IS NECESSARY, RALLY SCORING WILL BE USED. Rally scoring means points are won on either team's serve.

24. Choice of side or serve is determined by a coin flip. Winner gets choice of either. The receiving team of the first game serves the second game and then receives again if a third game is played.

25. Service: The ball must be tossed or released and must be hit with one hand only. The server may let the ball drop to the ground once during a serving session.

26. Rotation: Each team must always rotate prior to serving -- except on the first serve of the game.

27. Four touches are allowed only if the first touch by the team was a blocking touch.

28. Blockers may reach over the net, but may not contact the ball until it has been directed toward the blocker's side. However, the blocker may not spike down while reaching over the net.

29. Any player may block or spike, but a soft tap may not land on or inside the ten foot line.

30. Balls hitting the ceiling or objects hanging from the ceiling are always out.

31. PROTESTS: All protests must be made in writing and presented to the Dow office according to IM Protest Rules #38-41 in the IM Handbook, pages 12-13.

32. PARTICIPATION RULES: All teams are expected to follow IM Rules #25-30 which means that the team must be dressed and ready to play (lineup properly recorded) at game time.

33. SPORTSMANSHIP RULES: IM Rule #36 will be strictly enforced. Rosters will be checked regularly. Unsportsmanlike action will NOT be tolerated!

  • NO black-soled shoes allowed on the gym floor.
  • One NO SHOW will put your team on probation.
  • Once on probation, either one additional now show or one forfeit
    will remove your team from competition.
  • To reschedule, you must contact the IM office (x7956) AT LEAST
    48 hours prior to the scheduled event.
  • Additional players may be added UP TO game time on the day of
    your scheduled event. Roster additions forms are in the Dow
    Center main office, the IM Office, and on the IM website to morrison@hope.edu. (www.hope.edu/student/development/intra).