Tonka Softball

HS Slowpitch

hs slowpitch (for girls in 8th-12th grade, and girls 19 years old)

Commitment: 1 practice, 1 batting cage and 3 games each week (including one doubleheader)

Season: April through end of June

Teams consist of 12-15 players. Teams are comprised via friend requests and competitive balance, as determined by league director with input from coaches. All high school age girls (including girls entering their first year of high school) are encouraged to play and have fun with their friends. We make concessions for girls who play other in-season sports, work part-time and have school/other commitments. We want you to play and have fun with your friends! Attendance at all events is highly encouraged.

Girls hone their softball skills at a higher level of competition and intensity than they experienced in the developmental program. Games are played on Sunday early evenings at Legacy Fields at Minnetonka High School or Guilliam Fields and on Monday nights at Optimist Field (Glen Lakes) and Legacy Fields. Most games will be Sundays and Mondays. There may be occasional Thursday evening or Saturday afternoon games.

Players receive a jersey shirt. Players must provide their own batting helmet (with mask), fielding mask and softball mitt. Gym shoes are fine, plastic cleats are optional. Fielding masks for infielders are required.

A season-ending in-house tournament in late June including MGSA and Glen Lake teams offers the opportunity for additional competition. We also offer competitive travel options which play through the end of July.

Local league rules as applied to USSSA Slowpitch Softball game rules (as a basis for game play).

  1. No game shall exceed 75 minutes, at umpire’s discretion. This will be covered at preseason Coaches Meeting.
  2. Last inning of play is declared as the start of the next full inning after 55 minutes of play.
  3. If the last inning of play is not completed before the 75 minute game time limit, the official game score will revert to the previous inning score.
  4. Teams may score no more than 5 runs per inning, except for the last inning of the game. Unlimited runs only during officially declared last inning.
  5. There is no minimum number of players required to start or finish a game.
  6. Teams may use Callup Players from 13U or substitute players from the same League age (not playing in game).
  7. A 3-ball, 2-strike count will be used (that is, all batters start with a 1-ball, 1-strike count). USSSA Rule 7 Section 2D and Rule 8 Section 3A.
  8. A strike is called by the umpire for each foul tip. The batter is allowed 1 additional pitch on a 2nd strike foul tip (courtesy foul). The batter shall be declared out on the 2nd strike, 2nd foul tip (overrides USSSA Rule 7 Section 3D).
  9. Time is called and play is stopped when the Umpire calls time.
  10. Base runners must slide or avoid contact with a defensive player attempting to tag the runner. If avoidable or pre-meditated contact is made, in judgement of the Umpire, the base runner shall be declared out.
  11. All play is stopped when the Umpire calls time (USSSA Rule 3 TIME, Rule 8 Section 6A).
  12. Infield fly rule is in effect (used).
  13. Every player must play at least every other inning in the field (defense) in each game. All players bat.
  14. “Run-ahead” and “flip flop” rules are in effect. If either team is ahead by 10 or more runs after 5 innings, game is over/completed. If Away team is ahead by 4 or more runs after 4 innings (or later) and last inning has been declared, teams will “flip flop” in batting. See General League Rules for more information.

MGSA Slowpitch games will use this set of General Local League Rules as an extension or revision to USSSA Slow Pitch Softball Game Rules. All MGSA Leagues use the USSSA Slow Pitch Softball Game Rules as the basis for game play. These general rules are applied across all Leagues, with individual League exceptions specified in a Local League Rules document. Rule specifications contained in this document may be a restatement, clarification, point of emphasis, exception or addition of USSSA Slow Pitch Softball Game Rules to meet the specific needs and goals of the MGSA program. USSSA specific rules are citied as references for further information or as an indication of compliance with the USSSA rule set. General MGSA local league rules that apply to all leagues are: 

  1. No player may participate in a league game unless registered with MGSA.
  2. Home and away team game assignments are determined by the MGSA scheduler. The schedules are balanced as best as possible to provide an equal distribution of home and away games to each team (USSSA Rule 4 Section 1).
  3. Visitor team shall be assigned to use the 1st baseline dugout or bench area. Home team shall be assigned to use the 3rd base dugout or bench area. Teams do not have to switch a dugout if playing on the same field of doubleheader.
  4. The home team coach is responsible for ensuring that the field is properly set, including bases, and shall provide the game balls.
  5. Teams will begin game play at the scheduled game time.
  6. The batting order shall include all players present at the start of the game. Late arriving players will be allowed to enter the game and must be placed at the bottom of the batting order.
  7. A team may draft substitute players from a lower age group league with notification to the League Director.
  8. In the event no Umpire is available at the scheduled start time for a game, the home and visiting coaches will jointly agree upon a Substitute Umpire
  9. On-field coach exceptions to rules as stated by USSSA or MGSA Local League Local Rules are not allowed or permissible in any way.
  10. All coaches, players and parents must abide by Umpire rulings. Verbal abuse, harassment, insulting remarks or actions, or unsportsmanlike conduct by coaches, players or spectators will not be tolerated. After one warning by the head umpire, the offending team may be declared in forfeit of the game by the umpire or a representative of the MGSA, GAL or Bennett Family Park boards. The MGSA Code of Conduct will be strictly enforced. All incidents of unsportsmanlike behavior will be reported to the MGSA Umpire Director for appropriate disciplinary action (USSSA Rule 5 Section 9-10).
  11. A game may be postponed or suspended due to weather conditions by the umpire, the League Director or any other MGSA/GAL board member (USSSA Rule 4 Section 2).
  12. Games will be suspended immediately if lightning is sighted (USSSA Rule 4 Section 2).
  13. The home team coach will immediately report any game that has been postponed or suspended to the League Director. The Umpire will immediately report any game that has been postponed or suspended to the Umpire Director.
  14. Postponed games will be rescheduled by the MGSA scheduler with notification to team coaches. Best effort will be made to determine a game date and time that will work for both teams. If the assigned game makeup date cannot be played by either team the League Director will determine if the game should be dropped from the season schedule. 
  15. A batter accidentally (accidentally being defined as unintentional or a lack of skill) or carelessly (carelessly defined as intentional or without regard) throws a bat during their at-bat will receive a warning from the Umpire on the first occurrence. Subsequent accidental violations will be tolerated as long as there is no imminent danger to other players. If player safety is compromised (Umpires judgment) on the 2nd or later bat throw, the batter will be declared out. The second at-bat careless bat throw violation will result in the batter being declared out and the ball will be dead (USSSA Rule 5, Section 9 interpretation).
  16. Except for the on-deck batter, all players and equipment for the batting team must remain in the team’s dugout (USSSA Rule 5 Section 9D).
  17. No jewelry or any other items deemed hazardous by the umpire may be worn during the game (USSSA Rule 2 Section 11A).
  18. All players must wear shoes (USSSA Rule 2 Section 9).
  19. Team jerseys as provided by the league should be worn by all game participants (USSSA Rule 2 Section 11).
  20. A game may end with a tie score at the end regulation play of 7-innings, timed ending or 4 or more completed innings in the case of a called game (USSSA Rule 4 Section 3A-D clarification and exception).
  21. Base runners are required to slide or alternately avoid contact with a defensive player in the base path who is in possession of the ball waiting for a tag out. If the base runner does not slide or attempt to avoid contact with the defensive player, the base runner shall be declared out. This rule change has been made by USSSA to reduce player injuries from deliberate crashing between players. Deliberate shall be interpreted by umpire judgement as pre-meditated or avoidable by the base runner. Base runners must NOT run directly into a defensive player that has possession of or is fielding the ball.
  22. “Run-ahead” and “flip flop” rules are in effect. If either team is ahead by 10 or more runs after 5 innings, game is over/completed. If Away Team is ahead by 4 or more runs after 4 or more innings and last inning has been declared, teams will “flip flop” in batting. When to Flip: If the Away Team is ahead by the Runs-Ahead margin (4 or more runs) at the end of the inning, the Home Team is provided an opportunity to match or exceed the Away Team score by flipping the “Team At Bat” to the Home Team to the first at bat of the next inning. If the Home Team is unable to match or exceed the Away Team runs, the win is awarded to the Away Team. If the Home Team matches or exceeds the Away Team score, the game will continue as is with the “At Bat” Home and Away flipped. 

Follows all regular season rules with these addition, clarifications, points of emphasis and exceptions: 

  1. No players in the same division may be a drafted as a substitute for any other teams in that same division. If a team needs substitute players they may be drafted from lower divisions only.
  2. Games that have a tied score at the end of regulation or timed play will continue the game using the International Softball Federation Rule 5 Sections 6 and 7A process interpretation:
  1. Each tie-breaker at-bat inning will start with the offensive team last batter from the previous inning placed at 2nd base.
  2. Player substitutions are allowed as specified in (clarification use of USSSARule 5 Sections 3A-E).
  3. The offensive team will start each inning with no outs (clarification use of USSSA rules).
  4. The game winner will be declared as the team with the highest score at the end of a complete inning.
  5. The game will continue to be played until a winner is declared.
  1. Each game is fairly and uniformly officiated with the same set of rules to ensure consistency in game play and opportunity for all teams.
  2. Clear and uniform rules set to eliminate potential conflict and confusion with and/or between coaches, spectators and officials.
  1. Tball: 35' Pitching, 50' Base Path (throw down bases)

    Machine Pitch: 35' Pitching, 50' Base Path (throw down bases)

    10U: 40' Pitching, 60' Base Path

    13U: 46' Pitching, 65' Base Path

    High School: 50’ Pitching, 65' Base Path

Bring energy, keep girls busy all the time!

JOG – Girls go for run as team, go slow, not a race, have to stay together. Jog to far away fence and back. This gives coaches a minute or 2 to talk with the girls gone. (2 minutes)

THROWING – Girls line up and throw, coaches work on instructing good technique. Don’t have to throw hard, hit target. Put up target with glove. Point to target with glove. Should be in a T position at some point during throw. NOTE: I usually have a coach throw with a weaker skilled girl and try to pair up girls based on ability for safety reasons at all times. (3 minutes)

PITCHING – Girls pitch back and forth, standing up for first 10 throws, then getting in catcher crouch next 10 throws. (3 minutes)

SNAP and Fielding Technique – Girls line up across from partner on baseline, partner 5 yards away, 10-12 feet between groups; take off gloves, put behind them, demonstrate good fielding position, butt down, feet little wider than shoulder width apart, shuffle side to side. When coach yells snap, girls snap from any position into this position, with both hands down in front of them. Have player roll ball to teammate, have players use good form, roll ball side to side after a little bit, girls keeping ball in the middle of their stance as they shuffle NOTE: Drop this after first 2 practices. (5 minutes)

RELAY THROW – 4 teams of 3 players, each 30 yards apart. Down and back 2-4 times, first team done wins. Demonstrate proper stance of player awaiting throw to have both hands up, when catch is made, turn to glove side to throw, point with glove and throw immediately. (5 minutes)

H20 BREAK – 1 minute (get girls together and organized to send them to station areas with correct equipment!)

RUN 4 STATIONS, 7 minutes per station, 4 players per station (28 minutes)

Station #1 in left field (1 coach)

Players spread out about 5 yards apart, 30-80 feet from coach, throw or hit pop fly to each on glove hand side, have them throw hard to coach with glove target. Or hit ball with bat to girls if you are able to! 1 point for catch, 1 point for hard throw to glove. Then have players line up next to coach, have them run 1 at a time straight out and lead them with pop fly about 10-20 yards away, catch ball or pick up and throw hard to glove. 1 point for clean play on ball and 1 point for hard throw to glove.

Station #2 in infield (1 coach)

Have players go to shortstop and second base positions, and one player next to coach off to side on 3rd base side of pitching mound. Roll grounder to shortstop, second baseman covers bag. Or roll ball to second, shortstop covers. Throw underhand if close to bag or overhand if further away. Show ball to person throwing to. Person who covers bag throws to player next to coach, then coach rolls another grounder. Rotate positions clockwise after 5 to 8 grounders.

Station #3 at pitcher mound (1 coach)

1 coach and 1 player catch or coach catch sitting on bucket, 2 players pitch. Throw from 35-40 feet distance for 10U, 40-45 for 12U, 46-50 for 13U/HS. Work on proper technique and hitting glove.

Station #4 at backstop (1 coach)

Use hit stick in one area, tee with wiffle balls against backstop and soft toss into back stop. All 3 players go to a different one, rotate every 2 minutes. Wear helmets, keep girls spaced apart far. 

H20 BREAK – 2 minutes

CROSSFIELD FIELDING & THROWING – Have 4 girls at second, 4 girls at short, 1 girl at 3rd (who can catch hard thrown ball), 1 girl at first (who can catch hard thrown ball). 1 girl next to each coach. Hit to short, throw to first, next in line then moves in. Hit to second, throw to third, next in line moves in. Rotate spots every 3 minutes. After a few rotations, then have girls at second field and throw soft or underhand to first, girls at shortstop throw soft or underhand to third. Once girls get warmed up, score by team. Group at second and group at short are teams. Give 1 point to every play that fields clean and throws hard to base without pulling first baseman or third baseman off base. First team to 5 or 10 wins. NOTE: Be aware of field conditions, if field is rough, don’t have balls bouncing into players as they field, just give them rollers. Players must wear fielding masks for this! (7 minutes)

RUN BASES – Have girls lined up at home, yell hit, girl at plate runs through first, then lines up there. Next player up, yell hit, both runners advance one base, etc. Run through first and home, then add going 2, tag ups to score from third and getting back to base after ball caught. NOTE: Drop this after 2-3 practices. (5 minutes)

SCRIMMAGE – 4 on 4, 5 on 5 or 6 on 6, whatever your numbers. Use coach pitch for 10U, player pitch for 13U and HS. Everyone bats once, then switch with players in field. Infield players for 10U up should wear masks. Call out plays. Have girls in proper infield positions, have them line up on base path every batter, then tell them “2 big steps forward” or “2 big steps back”, etc. MAKE SURE PLAYERS ARE SNAPPING WITH EVERY PITCH AT ALL LEVELS! (27 minutes)

TEAM HUDDLE – Great job, Girls! (2 minutes)