Play Ball


Monday:

Organized pickup game Monday mornings at Hamann. Monday play is intended for men over 60 and women over 50. Click here for more info.

Organized pickup game Monday evenings 6 PM to 8 PM April thru August at Hathaway Park.  Get a Senior Discount at nearby Carl's Jr afterwards!


Tuesday:

Organized play with double header Tuesdays at 10 AM at Mise field. Four Teams are formed to enable a balance of skills. Every few months new teams are chosen. Click here for Tuesday Schedule and Rosters.


Wednesday:

Organized pickup game Wednesday mornings at Hamann. Many Monday League players also play on Wednesdays.


Thursday:

Organized play with double header Thursdays at 10 AM at either beautiful Mise or convenient DeAnza or Butcher Parks. Six Teams are formed to enable balance of skills. Every few months new teams are chosen. Click here for Thursday Schedule and Rosters.


Saturday:

Organized play with double header Saturdays at 9 AM or 11:45 AM. Venue is at Moffett Field / NASA Ames Research Facility (note, you will need to show ID before you can enter the base). Eight Teams are formed to enable a balance of skills. Every few months new teams are chosen. Click here for Saturday Schedule and Rosters.


Maps:

Click here for maps and directions to ball fields we use.


Apply Now:

Click here for an application form to start playing!




BASIC RULES OF PLAY

Vintage Softball has a number of special rules designed for its 50-and-over membership to ensure safe and fair play. Please refer to the below rules and our handbook for for details

In this section, you’ll find the most important of these rules.  You are encouraged to familiarize yourself with the rules, as they will affect your decisions in base running, batting, and fielding. 

 

Examples include:

  • Runners may overrun any base, but if they make an obvious motion to advance they are subject to being tagged out. If they overrun a base and then want to advance, they must return to the bag first and touch it.
  • Pitches must be a minimum of 6 feet above the ground and a maximum of 12 feet. Low or “flat” pitches (less than 6 feet high) and “high” pitches (over 12 feet high) can be called illegal by the 3rd base coach or the umpire, if any.
  • When a team has 10 or more defensive players, four of them must remain behind the 170-foot restraining line until the ball is hit.

For any questions you may have, please consult your manager or the Vintage Handbook. For situations not expressly covered by the Vintage Handbook, the Senior Softball USA (SSUSA) rulebook will apply.

 

Player Conduct

As a member of the Vintage Softball Club of Santa Clara County, members agree that when participating in club activities they will: 

  • Abide by the bylaws of the club and the rules and decisions of the club officials. 
  • Accept the decisions of the umpires and team managers. 
  • Avoid bodily contact that may cause injury to themselves or to others. 
  • Refrain from publicly denigrating club members. 
  • Never direct abusive or profane language at officials or club members. 

Lineup

  • All players in game attendance must be in the batting order and play a minimum of three innings on defense, provided they are willing and able to play defense. When a team plays a double header, the second game lineup starts with the batter who followed the last batter in the first game. 
  • Number of fielders. Normally, teams field ten players: pitcher, catcher, four infielders, and four outfielders. A rover or buck-short player is sometimes added when enough players are available.
  • Substitutions for defensive players. Extra defensive players may be substituted at any time without penalty. 

 Defensive Rules 

  • Pitches must be a minimum of 6 feet above the ground and a maximum of 12 feet. Illegal or “flat” pitches (less than 6 feet high) and “high” pitches (over 12 feet high) can be called illegal by the 3rd base coach or the umpire, if any. Pitches called illegal are balls unless the batter chooses to swing at the pitch, in which case the ball is in play. The word “illegal” is the preferred word for illegal pitches, but if the third base coach or umpire uses a readily understood synonym such as “high” or “flat,” the effect is the same. 
  • The strike zone mat or a combined home plate and strike zone mat will be used in all games. Pitches striking the mat or home plate on the fly are strikes. The strike zone is 19 inches wide by 34.5 inches long. 
  • A line will be drawn ten feet behind the pitcher’s rubber to define the start of the pitcher’s box. The pitcher’s box is the area from the front of the rubber extending back to this line. The pitcher must have at least one foot in this area at the start of the pitch. 
  • Time out. When the pitcher is in the infield and has control of the ball and all action has been completed, then time out is automatic. If any player, other than the pitcher, is in the infield and has control of the ball and all action has been completed, that player and only that player can call time out. If the player with the ball does not call time, then play is not suspended and remains in progress until the pitcher has the ball in the infield. 
  • If both teams have more than ten players, an eleventh fielder is sometimes used by mutual agreement of the managers. This player, called a buck short or rover, can play anywhere. Except for the buck short, all outfielders must remain behind the 170-foot restraining line in the outfield until the ball is hit. After any outfielder touches the ball, including a buck short who is in the outfield at the time the ball is hit, the batter-runner may not be put out at first. A buck short who is in the infield when the ball is hit may throw out the batter-runner at first. 
  • When a team has 10 or more defensive players, four of them must remain behind the 170-foot restraining line until the ball is hit. When a team has nine defensive players, three must remain behind the line. When a team has only eight defensive players, two must remain behind the line. 
  • Fielders are to remain clear of the bases and not obstruct runners when not fielding a ball, and must not make fake tags to deceive a runner.

 Base Running 

  • Runners must avoid collisions or be at risk of being called out. On close plays at a base, runners must avoid the bag and the fielder, and instead cross a line drawn at the leading edge of the bag. To be safe, the runner’s foot must be down on the line, or across it with a foot down, before the ball is caught by a fielder touching the base. It is not necessary for the fielder to tag the runner, even in non-force out situations. However, if the runner is not forced out, he/she may attempt to retreat to the previous base if he/she has not yet crossed the [commit?] line with a foot down. 
  • The commit line is located on the third base line thirty feet from home plate. Runners touching or passing the commit line must continue toward home plate and cannot retreat back to third base. Fielders cannot tag a runner who has crossed the commit line, and instead to make a putout must touch home plate or the mat with ball in hand before the runner crosses the line with a foot down. 
  • Runners may overrun any base, but if they make an obvious motion to advance they are subject to being tagged out. If they overrun a base and then want to advance, they must return to the bag first and touch it. Exception: after overrunning first base, runners may advance without retreating to the base. 
  • Sliding going forward is not permitted, but diving or sliding back into a base is permitted. 
  • To be safe on plays at home plate, runners must touch or cross the line with their foot down before the ball is caught by a fielder touching home. Runners are out if they touch home plate or the mat. 
  • A base runner on first or third base, in the interest of safety, may move into foul territory under the following circumstances: 
  • The base runner must announce his/her intention to begin play off the base prior to exercising that option. 
  • The base runner must be in a direct line from the base he/she occupies to second base. 
  • No coach can be between the base runner and the base. 
  • The base runner must be at rest until the batter hits the ball. 
  • The base runner must “retouch” the occupied base after the batter hits the ball and prior to advancing to the next base. 
  • A base runner who has not yet “retouched” the base is in jeopardy of being forced out (Note: This is not a tag play but a force out. It is OK to dive back to the base.)  

Substitutions: Pinch Runners

  • Players may request a pinch runner from any base or from home plate. A runner from home may not advance beyond first base on a ball hit by the batter.
  • If a pinch runner is used for the batter, the runner must stand behind the catcher and to the third base side of the plate, and may not leave until the ball is hit. Pinch runners that leave early are out. 
  • Requesting a pinch runner does not remove a player from the game. Unlimited pinch runners are allowed each inning and may be used only for those players requesting a runner. 
  • A player may be a pinch runner only once per inning.
  • A pinch runner whose turn at bat comes while on base shall be out and be removed from the base and come to bat. 
  • Pinch running for a pinch runner is not allowed. 

Umpiring Decisions

When umpires are not provided:

  • Catcher. The catcher will call balls and strikes, foul balls, and out-of-play balls. 
  • First Base Coach. The first base coach will call plays at first base, home plate, and plays to the right side of second base. If asked by the catcher, the first base coach will give assistance on foul ball calls.
  • Third Base Coach. The third base coach will call plays at second base, third base, plays to the left side of second base, and illegal pitches. If asked by the catcher, the third base coach will give assistance on foul ball calls. The third base coach should also direct runners away from errant throws to avoid collisions. 
  • Pitcher. When a base coach is not in place or cannot make a call of safe or out, the pitcher makes the final call. 
  • Disputed Calls. Managers are the only persons who may question or consult with the umpires (this includes the catcher, first and third base coaches if they are serving as umpires) regarding disputes or rule interpretations. Note: Judgment calls must not be disputed. Sportsmanship dictates that individual players shall not dispute the umpire's call. 

 When umpires are provided:

  • When a volunteer umpire prefers to make the calls at first, second, third and home and/or illegal pitches, they will be allowed to do so after informing both managers before the game. 
  • If the umpire prefers assistance to call the bases and/or illegal pitches, this will be coordinated with both managers before the game. 

Fun League Rules (supplemental)

In addition, these rules apply to the fun league only:

 

A. A pinch runner from home does not have to stop at first base.

B. A player may serve as a pinch runner an unlimited number of times per inning.

C. Use of a pitching screen is mandatory.

D. Any infielder may play on the outfield grass for safety reasons.

E. A team behind by more than five runs is not restricted to five runs per half inning  until they tie the score.