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Category: Special Rules
  1. What's the League's Slaughter or Mercy Rule?
  2. Is there a league rule regarding where women bat in the order?
  3. Is there a penalty for walking a man when a female batter is on deck?
  4. My team can only field two women tonight. Can we still play?
  5. What is the penalty for not fielding three (3) women?
  6. Many pitchers pitch with their hand on top of the ball, so there is a backspin. Is this a legal pitch?
  7. What is the rule on designated hitters? (i.e. does the pitcher have to be in the batting lineup?)
  8. What are the minimum number of women per team?
  9. Is there a list of BWCS's playing rules?
  10. Can a player who arrives late join a game in progress?
  11. Is base stealing of any kind allowed?



  1. What's the League's Slaughter or Mercy Rule?
    In BWCS, the Slaughter/Mercy Rule is applied if a team is ahead by 12 or more runs at the end of the 5th inning (or any inning thereafter).

    The HOME team gets to bat the bottom half of the 5th or 6th inning if the AWAY team is ahead by 12 or more runs. If the HOME team fails to close the 12-run gap after batting its half of the inning, the AWAY team wins via the Slaughter Rule and the game is officially over.

    If the HOME team is ahead by 12 or more runs after the AWAY team bats the top of the 5th or 6th inning, the HOME team does NOT have to bat the bottom half of the inning. The HOME team wins via the Slaughter Rule and the game is officially over.

    Category: Special Rules
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  2. Is there a league rule regarding where women bat in the order?
    Yes. The batting order may not have more than seven (7) male batters in a row, at any time in the game. (This includes when the bottom of the order loops back to the top.)
    Category: Special Rules
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  3. Is there a penalty for walking a man when a female batter is on deck?
    Yes. When a male batter is walked with a female batter on deck, the male batter will be awarded second base. If there are less than two (2) outs, the female batter must bat. If there are two (2) outs, the female batter has the option of accepting an automatic walk or batting.
    Category: Special Rules
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  4. My team can only field two women tonight. Can we still play?
    Yes. A team may play with less than three women, but they are subject to league penalties for not fielding 3 women and may play only 7 men in the field.
    Category: Special Rules
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  5. What is the penalty for not fielding three (3) women?
    Teams without the minimum required women (three) will be penalized two (2) runs per missing woman. This penalty is assessed only once at the top of the third inning only. The maximum penalty for a team that is missing 3 women is 6 runs; 2 women is 4 runs; and 1 woman is 2 runs. In addition, any missing women will be put in the lineup (anywhere) as a ghost batter and will be an automatic out each time the ghost batter comes up to bat. The ghost batter must be inserted in the lineup at the start of the game and must meet batting order requirements.
    Category: Special Rules
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  6. Many pitchers pitch with their hand on top of the ball, so there is a backspin. Is this a legal pitch?
    Yes, it's legal. Rule #15 states that "The pitcher may hold or grip the ball in any manner...and the pitch must be delivered in a definite underhanded motion. The pitcher may not attempt to put a sideways spin on the ball so as to try to create a curving effect." This would mean that the grip you described is legal. Backspin is legal as long as the pitch is delivered underhanded. Of course, the pitch must additionally have a 6' to 10' arc to be legal. (If this could be an issue during play, make sure that your team captain resolves this during the pre-game ground-rules meeting between the umpire and the captains.)
    Category: Special Rules
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  7. What is the rule on designated hitters? (i.e. does the pitcher have to be in the batting lineup?)
    There is no DH in this league. Your choice is to bat all your players which allows you free substitution in the field (Rule 7.1(1)) or bat only 10 players (3 women minimum) which only allows for player-for-player substitution (Rule 7.1(2)).
    Category: Special Rules
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  8. What are the minimum number of women per team?
    There is a minimum of three (3) women on the field at all times. Rule #5.5 and 5.6 in the League's Rules and Regulations clarify this requirement.
    Category: Special Rules
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  9. Is there a list of BWCS's playing rules?
    Yes. Visit the Rules & Regulations page on the website for a detailed summary of League-specific rules.
    Category: Special Rules
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  10. Can a player who arrives late join a game in progress?
    Yes, you can add late players, but typically, they can only be added to the BOTTOM of the batting order. You cannot insert them into the middle of a lineup, unless they are replacing a "ghost". For example, if you only had 2 women to start the game, and had to insert the 3rd woman as a ghost into the lineup somewhere, once the 3rd woman shows up, she can replace the ghost. If you know a male player is going to be late (and let's say it's one of your strong hitters who you usually bat at the top of the order)...You can have a "ghost" in that spot so that you can insert him when he arrives. HOWEVER, if the ghost comes up to bat before your player arrives, it's an automatic out. Beware, however, that once you have a ghost in the lineup, the ghost remains in the lineup until an additional player, not already in your original lineup, shows up to replace the ghost. In other words, if you use a ghost as a "placeholder" and no additional players ever show up, you're stuck with the ghost in that spot. You CANNOT move a player already at the bottom of the lineup to replace the ghost "placeholder" at the top of the lineup once the game is in progress.
    Category: Special Rules
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  11. Is base stealing of any kind allowed?
    Base stealing is NOT allowed in the League.
    Category: Special Rules
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