Your Guide to NAGAAA Softball

Playing softball in the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance (NAGAAA) offers a unique experience of competitive play within a welcoming and inclusive environment. You’ll follow most standard softball rules, with some key adaptations designed for fairness and to support the league’s mission.


  • History: Founded in 1977, NAGAAA has a long and impactful history of promoting LGBTQ+ inclusion in softball.
  • Mission: NAGAAA aims to provide a safe, competitive, and fun softball experience for everyone, regardless of skill level, gender identity, or sexual orientation.
  • How to Join: Find a NAGAAA league in your area and contact them about their sign-up process. You’ll likely need to attend a player rating session where your skills will be assessed.

Understanding the Rules

  • Based on USA Softball: NAGAAA closely follows the official USA Softball rulebook, covering aspects like pitch arcs, base running regulations, and equipment standards.
  • Key Differences: NAGAAA’s unique player rating system is the biggest difference from standard softball. This system is designed to ensure fair competition across different skill levels.
  • Where to Find the Rules: Familiarize yourself with both rulebooks. Check the NAGAAA website (, your local league’s resources, and the official USA Softball rulebook.

Player Ratings and Eligibility

  • Rating System: All players are assigned a skill rating. These ratings are based on a structured assessment of your hitting, running, fielding, throwing, and pitching abilities.
  • Age: You must be at least 18 years old to participate in the main divisions.
  • Legends (Masters) Division: This division has specific age requirements to ensure fair competition among older players. Check with your local league for specifics.

How Teams Work

  • Rosters: Teams have a minimum and maximum number of players allowed, based on league rules. Each player’s rating factors into the team’s overall rating, which determines the division they play in.
  • Finding a Team: If you’re a free agent (don’t have a team), contact your local league. They can help place you on a team that matches your skill level and fits the team’s roster needs.

Game Day Basics

  • Seasons: You’ll have a regular season of games, followed by playoffs. Top teams might qualify for the prestigious Gay Softball World Series (GSWS).
  • Game Rules: Expect slow-pitch softball with standard pitch height requirements, base running rules, and mercy rules (games ending early if one team has a large lead).
  • Uniforms: Your team will have matching jerseys with numbers on the back. Metal cleats are NOT allowed – use rubber cleats or athletic shoes for safety.

Beyond the Field

  • Sportsmanship: NAGAAA has a Code of Ethics emphasizing respect for everyone involved in the game – players, coaches, officials, and fans. Play hard, but play fair!
  • Having Issues? For minor issues, talk to your teammates or coaches first. If a problem can’t be resolved that way, your league will have a formal process for handling disputes.

Ready to Play?

Playing NAGAAA softball is about more than just the competition. It’s about joining a vibrant community, building friendships, competing with pride, and having a blast on the field! Find your local league and start your NAGAAA softball journey!