On this page

  1. Spring to Summer leagues
  2. Game cancellations
  3. Bat policy
  4. Rules of play

Spring to Summer leagues

View your schedule and standings

Submit the offsite score submission

Game cancellations

During poor weather, check our field conditions page for the status of diamonds. No final decisions will be made before 4:00 p.m. on game day. Captains will be notified of a cancellation.

Bat policy

Our bat policy is adopted from Slo-Pitch National (SPN). All bats must have a USSSA compliance mark.

Rules of play

Any rules not addressed below will follow the SPN rule book, available on their website.


All teams are expected to have enough players to meet the minimum numbers at the start of the game time. Any team not meeting the minimum number of players 10 minutes past the official start of game time will forfeit. A team may lend players to their opponent, however they must determine if the game will be a forfeit or an official game prior to playing.

The forfeit score will be recorded as 20-0.

Teams are required to have a minimum of eight players (co-ed: a minimum of one player must be female) to avoid a forfeit.

If your team is unable to make their game, please give more than 24 hours notice to the CARL administration before the game. If more than 24 hours notice is given prior to your game, the possibility of a rescheduled game on a future date may occur.

A team may only give a 24-hour notice without penalty a maximum of two times during a season. Further occurrences will result in an automatic loss and be recorded as a forfeit. The score will be recorded as 20-0. A team's spirit ranking will not be affected.

Any team that forfeits a game with less than 24 hours notice will be subject to the following:

  • receiving a losing score of 20-0
  • a spirit ranking of zero for the forfeited game

If any team forfeits two games during a season their status in the league will be under review and may be removed from the league without refund.

Exception: if captains agree that a team can play with less than the minimum required players the score will count and the game can be played. Furthermore, a forfeit or non-forfeit needs to be agreed upon by the 10 minute mark, if an agreement cannot be reached then the forfeit stands.

Rosters and subs

A team may have 25 players listed on their roster. Exceptions may be made upon review from CARL administration.

A full team consists of 10 players on the field.

Co-ed: at least three players on the field must be female. A team may only use a maximum of seven males in the field at one time and cannot have more than 5 infielders; may only have 1st, 2nd, 3rd, shortstop and pitcher. If a team has less than three females, an automatic out will be given in place of the missing female in the batting order.

Teams may agree to play with different ratios of male/female or number of players; however, if an agreement cannot be made teams must adhere to the league rules.

All players must be listed on the team's official roster to be eligible to play in the league. Players must go to ActiveWaterloo to set up an account and add themselves to their team's roster. All players must also sign the Slo-Pitch National liability waiver. It will be sent to rostered players via email.

A team may bring in extra players prior to the fourth week in the season as long as they have completed the above steps.

Following the roster deadline CARL staff will do regular random roster checks. A team may challenge any player on their opponent's roster during the game and must be done by the team's captain. Any challenge must be requested prior to the end of the game.

If a player is being challenged on a roster:

  • the team must contact the CARL Associate to indicate the challenge of the player
  • the player must present their full name and identification to the CARL associate
  • If the challenge is successful the player will be removed from the game immediately

If a player's full name is not listed (ie. John instead of John Smith) they will be deemed as ineligible. Protesting a player's eligibility may only be done after the fourth week roster deadline and must be done by the team's captain; the CARL associate must be notified before the completion of the game.

Any ineligible players will be removed from the game immediately. Players are responsible for having valid ID at the game. If a player fails to have ID, they are considered to be ineligible and will be removed from the game.

Any ineligible player caught playing in a game will result with following:

  • the player being removed from the game
  • the team's captain being suspended for the next game
  • a second offence will result in a three game suspension for the captain
  • a third offence will result in a suspension to the captain for the remainder of the season

A team may use players from a previous game from that night and league; however, they may only use players from within their division of play or lower. Teams may only use enough players to have a full line-up and two subs on the side.

Once a legitimately rostered player arrives at the game, a borrowed sub must discontinue play, unless the opponent agrees to have the player stay in the game. You may not use players from a previous game in playoffs.

A team is required to have a minimum of eight players (one player must be female) to avoid a forfeit. Players must be at the field and ready to play prior to the forfeit time.

Schedules and standings

CARL works to develop an equitable schedule for all participants; ensuring each team has an average equal number of games and a fair distribution of time slots.

All schedules will be sent to each captain and posted on the CARL website a minimum of one week prior to the start of the season; schedules are subject to change. CARL administration will give notice of changes as soon as possible.

Teams are expected to report scores and spirit ranking to the CARL associate following their game. The CARL administration will have standings updated online no later than 48 hours following your game.

Regular season games may end in a tied score.

A score cap of a 20 run differential will be applied to all games.

Once a team has reached the score cap of 20 runs additional runs will not be recorded. Once the trailing team scores another run, the leading team must score another run to have it counted.

The score recorded will not reflect a point differential greater than 20 runs. Mercy rule: a team may not score more than six runs in an inning. The last inning as called by the umpire, is open. The score cap will still be in effect.

How teams are ranked:

  1. first criteria: total points will be determined from a team's wins, losses and ties. Wins will be two points, ties will be one point and a loss will be worth zero points
  2. second criteria: point differential - a team's difference between points for and against

If there is still a tie in the standings:

  1. record head to head between the teams involved
  2. point differential between games involving the teams tied only
  3. spirit points for each team involved
  4. coin toss


Any team with an average spirit ranking of 3.5 or lower will not be eligible for playoffs.

To be eligible to participate in playoffs a player must be on their team's official team roster.

All teams are guaranteed the same number of post-season games, however not all teams will receive the opportunity to play for the championship.

If a league has eight or more teams; the top eight teams will play for the championship in a single elimination style playoff.

If a league has less than eight teams; the top four teams will play for the championship in a single elimination style playoff.

Losing teams will play consolation matches to finish the season.

Any team not part of the championship playoffs will receive consolation games that will equal the same number of games as all other teams.

CARL Administration has the right to change the playoff format at any time to ensure the quality of the league.

Sportsmanship is an important part of playoffs. Any team displaying poor sportsmanship in playoffs will have their win reviewed and CARL administration has the right to overturn any win. Poor sportsmanship by both teams in a playoff game may result in a loss by both teams.

Playoff games cannot end in a tie, the following format will only be used in playoffs to break a tie game:

  • if teams are tied at the end of seven innings the tiebreaker method will be used for each inning thereafter until the tie has been broken
  • the offensive team will begin the inning with one out and the last batter from the previous inning starting as a runner on second base
  • the home team will always receive their final at bat

Offsite game policy

When playing your game at an offsite diamond such as Waterloo Park, Hillside Park, or if a CARL associate is not present at your game, use the following policy:

  • each captain will submit the game scores and spirit ranking through the score submission link on the slo-pitch webpage
  • scores must be submitted no more than 48 hours following your game
  • if only one team submits a score the submitted score will stand
  • if no score has been submitted by either team following the 48 hour deadline, a score of zero will be recorded for both teams.


A home team will be designated on the schedule for each game; the home team is required to supply a game ball for this game.

Teams are required to use ‘Hot Dot' labelled balls for the game ball.

Each team will be supplied with a total of 10 softballs at the beginning of the season. A team may purchase more softballs if required.

Players will not be allowed to wear metal cleats and will be ejected.

Any player position is allowed to use a trapper.

Game times

Players should arrive 10 minutes prior to the scheduled start time of their game. They will receive this time to warm-up for their game.

Games are scheduled to be either 90 minutes or seven complete innings; whichever comes first.

The bottom half of the seventh inning will not be completed if the home team is leading after six innings or scores the leading run prior to three outs being recorded.

The sixth and seventh inning will be considered open innings:

  • when a team can score as many runs as possible before recording three outs
  • the umpire may be required to call “last inning” within an inning due to time limitations

A new inning should not be started after the 75 minute mark.

For a game to be considered a complete game for the standings, four completed innings are required; 3.5 innings if the ‘home' team is ahead.

If a game is incomplete CARL administration retains the right to:

  • reschedule the game (preferred option)
  • declare a tie game between the teams (based on schedule/time constraints)
  • regular season games may end in a tie; teams may play one extra inning if time permits

If more than fifteen minutes exist before the 90 minute time limit, one additional inning may be started.

The extra inning will only count if the entire inning can be completed before the 90 minute time limit; otherwise a tie will be recorded in the standings.

Once an inning starts, it must be completed, should the time frame allow.

A game may be called in the middle of an inning for safety reasons (such as darkness, weather or injury). The score will revert to the last completed inning.

Game expectations

A game sheet will be left on each team's bench prior to the start of the each game.

Game sheets are expected to be filled out including the umpire ratings, and will be handed to the CARL associate following the game.

Exception: offsite games will follow the above mentioned policy.

It is expected that only captains are communicating issues during the game and may direct any questions to the umpire or CARL associate at an appropriate time and in a respectful manner.

Player expectations

All players must wear some type of running shoe (such as basketball, tennis or jogging). A player is not allowed to play in street shoes, socks or bare feet.

Players may wear any style of cleat excluding metal.

All players wearing knee braces that contain plastic, metal, or bolts/screws, must have a cover.

Foul language, trash talk, or any other offensive actions or words will not be tolerated and will be followed up in accordance with sportsmanship guidelines.

Game play

The home team will be designated on the schedule. The home team is responsible for supplying a game ball.

The fielding team may only use a maximum of 10 players in the field at one time; co-ed: may only use a maximum of seven males in the field at one time.

The fielding team will consist of the following players:

1. pitcher

2. catcher

3. first baseman

4. second baseman

5. third baseman

6. shortstop

7. rover

8. left fielder

9. centre fielder

10. right fielder

When a team is requested to provide a catcher for their opponent they are not required to provide one, however within the ‘spirit of the league' it is encouraged.

A borrowed catcher will only be required to return the ball to the pitcher following pitches. They are not required to play defence.

Exception: teams may agree to have the ‘borrowed catcher' play a different role; if a decision cannot be agreed upon teams must revert back to the above mentioned rule.

Co-ed: the fielding team can only have a maximum of six players in the infield; this is including the pitcher and catcher. Outfielders may run into the infield only after the batter has made contact with the ball.


The pitching zone (may be marked by a pitching rubber) is 24 inches wide located 50-65' from the original home plate; the pitcher shall take a position with his pivot foot firmly on the ground within the pitching zone. The pivot foot must remain in constant contact until the release of the ball.

A pitched ball must be pitched at a moderate speed and must have an arc of minimum six feet and maximum of 12 feet above the ground to be considered legal.

Any pitch not adhering to these standards may be called ‘no pitch' by the umpire.

A ‘no pitch' that has not been swung at will be called a ball.

A legal pitch hitting the strike mat prior to hitting the ground will be called a strike.

A legal pitch not hitting the strike mat prior to hitting the ground will be called a ball.

A batter will have a maximum of four balls in an at bat before being awarded first base, referred to as a walk.

A batter will have a maximum of three strikes in an at-bat before being called out on strikes. This includes foul balls. If the ball is hit foul on the third strike, the batter will still be called out.

Coed: if a male batter is walked, and a female follows in the batting order, he will be awarded first and second base. The female must then bat.

If a male is thrown 4 straight balls in an at-bat and a male follows in the batting order he will only be awarded first base.

Batting order

Teams are expected to create a set batting order prior to the game and are encouraged to share their batting order with their opponent during the pre-game meeting.

A team may have more than 10 players in their batting order.

A late arriving player may be allowed to join in the game at any point, however, the established batting order must continue to be adhered to and the player must be added to the bottom of the batting order for the remainder of the game.

co-ed: when a late player is added to the batting order, the team must still adhere to the ‘co-ed batting order' rules mentioned below.

A team must field a minimum of eight players to start or continue a game.

If a player becomes injured during the game and cannot continue to play they may be removed from the batting order; they will not be counted as an out when their spot in the batting order comes up.

Co-ed batting order

Teams may use an uneven batting order; they may have more males than females in the batting order or vice versa. No more than two males may bat in a row in the batting order at any time.

You are not required to have two males hit in a row.

All players must bat before any player repeats in the batting order unless it is in violation of the previously mentioned rule. (such as having more than two males hit in a row.)

If a batting team has less than three females in the batting order then an automatic out will be given in place of the missing female player in the batting order. Exception: when a team has only eight players this number will be reduced to less than two females.

The following is an example of a correct & incorrect batting order with 10 players (six males & four females):

1. male 1
2. male 2
3. female 1
4. male 3
5. male 4
6. female 2
7. male 5
8. female 3
9. male 6
10. female 4

Incorrect line up
1. male 1
2. male 2
3. female 1
4. male 3
5. male 4
6. female 2
7. male 5
8. male 6
9. female 3
10. male 1
11. male 2
12. female 4

Scoring and baserunning

A line will be drawn from the top left corner of home plate and perpendicular to the third base line; this line will be referred to as the ‘scoring line'.

A base runner must cross the ‘scoring line' for a run to count.

A line will be 20 feet from the top left corner of home plate and perpendicular to the third base line; this line will be referred to as the ‘commitment line.'

Once a base runner has crossed the ‘commitment line' they must cross the ‘scoring line'; they may not return to third base.

A run will be scored each time a runner touches first, second, third base and crosses the scoring line before the third out of an inning.

A run will not be scored if the third out is a result of any of the following:

  • the batter-base runner getting out before touching first base
  • a base runner being forced out during any play
  • a base runner being called out for leading off
  • a preceding base runner being called out for not touching a base
  • a run will not be scored if a base runner touches the strike mat or home plate
  • a baserunner may leave the base once the pitched ball crosses the plate or hits the ground

Any player leaving the base due to anticipation of a hit will be accepted. The umpire has the right to make the judgement of whether a base runner leaving was anticipating of leading off.

A team may not use a courtesy runner for a player at bat. If a batter is unable to hit and advance to a base on their own, a courtesy runner will not be allowed to run from the screen.

A team will be allowed to use no more than three courtesy runners in a game. The courtesy runner will take over for the runner on the base they are at.

co-ed: a team must use a male courtesy runner for a male and a female courtesy runner for a female.

Home run rule: CARL leagues will use the ‘plus two' rule for home runs. A team is allowed to have two more over-the-fence home runs than the opposing team at any point during the game. Further home runs past the plus two home runs will count as an out.

No more than six runs will be scored by a team in their half-inning at bat; this is referred to as ‘inning mercy rule'.

The sixth and seventh inning will be considered open innings:

  • when a team can score as many runs as possible before three outs; there will be no inning mercy rule in effect
  • the umpire may be required to call “last inning” within an inning due to time limitations

Teams should clearly mark down the final score on the game sheets and indicate the winner and loser. A spirit ranking must also be recorded. No spirit ranking will be assumed to be five.

Please leave the game sheet and clipboard at the diamond dugout.