Bolton Sports Federation
Ladies' Rounders League

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ROUNDERS  -  LAWS OF THE GAME   (updated November 2019)

These Laws show both imperial and metric measurements.


1. Each team shall field a maximum of eleven players. A team must field a minimum of six players. In league matches, the visiting team shall have choice of the first innings unless they are 5 or more minutes late.

2. All equipment must be fit for purpose.  Mats, where used, must be free from holes, and the appropriate number of holding pins used.

3. The balls shall be lawn tennis balls. A minimum of two suitable balls shall be supplied by the home team at the commencement of the match. In case of a dispute, the referee shall decide.

4. The bats shall be wooden rounders bats with blade 12 to 14 inches (30.5 - 35.6 cm) long and 3 inches (7.6 cm) wide. No player is allowed to weight her bat. Any team using bats not in accordance with this law shall have two points deducted in League competition and shall be disqualified in Shield and Cup competitions.

5. The bases shall be marked by poles, the top of which must be at least 4 feet (122 cm) above the ground.

6. The inside measurements of the “Home” shall be 1 yard (91 cm) by 2 feet (61 cm) and a 2 feet (61 cm) tape must be placed 1 yard (91 cm) directly behind.

7. The inside measurements of the bowling pitch shall be 3 yards (274 cm) by 2 feet (61 cm), positioned 7 yards (6.4m) from the “Home”.

8. The first base shall be 12 yards (11m) from the “Home” in line with the front of the bowling pitch. It will then be about 9¾ yards (9m) from the bowling pitch. The second base shall be 12 yards (11m) from the first, the third 12 yards (11m) from the second, and the home base 12 yards (11m) from the third, as per the diagram *. Each base and the back tape must be at least 12 yards (11m) clear of any natural hazard e.g. tree, wall, building or slope.

9. All batters must stand at least 12 yards (11m) from the “Home” to the rear. Spectators must remain at least 12 yards (11m) from the playing area.

10. On stepping into the bowling pitch, the bowler must pause before commencing to bowl. She must deliver the ball underhand from within the limits of the bowling pitch, in a single continuous movement No additional equipment may be used to tamper with the ball.

11. The “Backstop” must stand directly behind the back tape in her normal position until the ball is delivered by the bowler.

12. The batter must stand outside the “Home”, keep one foot on the 1 yard (91 cm) line and the other foot alongside the “Home” as the ball is played with the bat, forearm or hand holding the bat.
      A PENALTY may be incurred as a result of the following actions :

a) holding the bat with two hands as the ball is struck,

b) lifting the foot off the 1 yard (91 cm) tape while attempting to play the ball,

c) crossing the free foot over the 1 yard (91 cm) tape while attempting to play the ball,

d) placing the foot on the back or front tape while attempting to play the ball.

      The Referee must not give the decision until the batter has safely reached the first base, when she must be brought back. No runs shall be scored by the batter from the hit.

      One run to be deducted from the score and all batters to return to their original positions.

13. A bowler, commencing to bowl, must complete the delivery or be penalised for baulking. No batter may be put out as the result of that action. No batter may be hit out once the bowler is ready to bowl and no batter must commence to run until the bowler has both feet in the pitch.

14. If the ball be above the knee of the batter, below the top of her head, and within the limits of the “Home” when it reaches the batter, the ball is good. The height of a ball is determined by a batter's natural height.

15. If the ball is not bowled as per laws 9 and 13, it is bad.

16. The batter must run after the first “good” ball, whether struck or not. No run shall be scored unless the ball is struck.

17. Following delivery of a bad ball :

a) The batter leaving the “Home” without hitting the ball must be brought back.

b) The batter run out or hit out before reaching 1st base must be brought back.

c) The batter caught out must be brought back.

d) The batter, having hit the ball then safely reaching 1st base will score.

e) The batting side shall score one run for each bad ball, except where runs are scored as per d) above.

f) Any batter running between bases can be hit out.

18. The batters must bat in the same order until put out.

19. A batter will be out if, after making a scoring shot from a good ball, the ball is caught by a fielder without it touching the ground.

20. A batter, while running to a base, is out if she is touched by the ball from one of the fielding side. The batter may dodge within a radius of 12 yards (11m) of a base. If she exceeds this distance, she is out.

21. A batter is out if, before she reaches 1st base, it is touched by the ball from one of the fielding side.

22. Only one batter shall be allowed at a base at the same time. If there is more, the batter in front is out if hit with the ball. A batter passing another batter when running between bases, will be given out.

23. More than one batter may be put out by one ball.

24. The batter shall score one run for each base touched in order before stopping at any base. Following a scoring shot, if a batter gets to 1st base without being out and stops, she shall score one run, but must touch the base before the referee calls the score. A batter reaching 4th base without stopping shall score six runs for a complete “Rounder”. A batter has not reached any base unless that base is touched. A batter missing a base can be hit out. A batter missing 1st base can be hit out or run out.

 25. A batter, having once “stopped” (not hesitated) at a base, cannot resume running for the purpose of scoring, but may run on to the next base: she may be hit out unless touching a base. Both apply until the point at which the bowler is READY to bowl. This will be determined by the bowling style of individual bowlers. Once a bowler has stepped into the blowing area, she has COMMENCED bowling.

26. No fielder, other than the Backstop, may take a position where her feet are less than two metres from the batting home.

27. Any fielder wishing to take up a position behind spectators, must inform the referee of her intention: the referee must then move the spectators to leave a clear view for the fielder, wherever possible. Referees are asked to see that the spectators go well back.

28. No batter can be hit out when a ball has been obstructed by a spectator and the batter must return to the base last touched prior to being hit.

29. A batter wilfully obstructing a fielder shall be out. A batter shall also be considered to have obstructed if the fielder is verbally distracted. Any member of the batting side fielding the ball shall be given out. When a good ball is not played with the bat and it hits the batter (excluding the whole of the arm holding the bat), the batter shall be given out for obstruction.

30. A batter who is wilfully obstructed by a fielder cannot be put out, but will be allowed to go to the next base and score accordingly. A fielder shall also be considered to have obstructed if the batter is verbally, or by any other means, distracted. If this occurs whilst the batter is at the “Home”, the batter will be given the choice of batting again.

31. In the case of obstruction involving the last batter, she will be given the option of taking the runs scored or going back to bat again.

32. If at any time no batter is in the “Home”, the batting side may all be “put out” by any fielder touching the “Home” with the ball. If any batter is awaiting, or has reached the fourth base, the “Home” shall be considered occupied.

33. The official score to be announced after each team has completed one innings. Where a team holds a lead of 40 or more runs, the winning captain may compel their opponents to follow on.

34. The team making the highest score shall win. The referee can stop a match when a team holds a lead of 20 runs in the final innings.

35. No matches shall be played in a schoolyard.

36. No player will be allowed to wear spiked shoes.

37. Referees must give their decisions verbally. Actions may be used for emphasis.

38. The Referee's decision is final.


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