The Following rules pertain only to regular season USSSA Southern California tournaments.  Rules do not apply to any World Series events or out of area tournaments.
2017 Rule Changes

No extra innings will be played in preliminary play. Games will end either when time expires or the scheduled number of  innings has been played, whichever comes first.
All bats used, no matter the division, must have the USSSA 1.15 BPF bat mark or be a BBCOR Bat.
More info on 2016-2017 Bat Regulations:
PLEASE NOTE:  In Southern California Tournaments, 14U teams and older must use BBCOR or Wooden Bats.

Divisions & Age Regulations

Divisions are based upon a player’s age as of the 2017 League Age date (April 30th, 2017).  To determine a player’s League Age, use USSSA’s age calculator. Players may play up in age but may not play down. The 2017 season runs from Aug. 1, 2016 to July 31, 2017. The minimum age to play in a kid-pitch program is a League Age 6. Players younger than the League Age must have the approval of the state Director, John Gleason, to play kid-pitch. For approval contact John at [email protected]. Players playing up in age may not play up more than two (2) league ages. For example, a 12U player may play up to 14U but not to 15U.

Tournament Participants

Players are permitted to play on only one team during a weekend tournament. This rule applies no matter where the USSSA tournament is located in Southern California.
Any team knowingly using an illegal player shall be subject to discipline including but not limited to: forfeiting a game, ejection from tournament and/or suspension from all USSSA sanctioned leagues and tournaments for a one year period.
Teams are required to have non-duplicating numbers on their jerseys at least 4 inches in size. Players may not change numbers during the tournament. The number they wear in the first game of the tournament shall be their number for the remainder of the tournament. The only exception is if a player must change jerseys due to blood on the original jersey. Should this occur, the change must be reported to the tournament director immediately. If a player plays with a different number during the tournament, both the player and team manager will be ejected from the game.
Metal cleats are prohibited for teams 12U and below.
Teams are prohibited from warming up or conducting their pre-game on any of the infields, no matter what the facility. Warm up is permitted in foul territory only!
Major League Baseball’s Sporting News Rules shall apply, along with those found in the USSSA Bylawsbooklet.
More information on the Frozen Roster rules can be found under section 3.07 on Page 2.

Pitching – THESE PITCHING RULES PERTAIN ONLY TO REGULAR SEASON TOURNAMENTS.  WORLD SERIES PITCHING RULES ARE GOVERNED BY THE USSSA BYLAWS AVAILABLE AT USSSA.COM

Right handed pitchers may not fake a pickoff attempt to third base. This is a balk. A pitcher who steps toward first or third must throw to that base. Pitchers are permitted to step toward second base without throwing to that base.

To intentionally walk a batter, a coach simply needs to inform the umpire and point to first base.  No pitches are thrown.

Pitching restrictions for 2016-2017 tournaments are as follows:

  • 7U, 8U 9U, 10U, 11U, 12U: 6 innings in a day, 9 in the tournament
  • 13U, 14U: 7 innings in a day, 11 in the tournament.
  • 15U & up: no pitching restrictions
Pitching Distances for all USSSA baseball tournaments are as follows:
  • 7U – 8U: 40 foot mound, 60 foot bases
  • 9U: 46 foot mound, 65 foot bases
  • 10U: 46 feet mound 65 foot bases,
  • 11U – 12U: 50 foot mound 70 foot bases
  • 13U: 54 foot mound 80 foot bases (Some 14Us will play 54×80)
  • 14U & up – 60.6 foot. mound 90 foot bases

On a single weekend tournament, pitching does not recycle for the playoffs.  Once a pitcher is removed from the mound, he may not pitch again in that game.  Umpires show leniency on balks in 9U and below.

Violation of pitching restrictions will result in the automatic ejection of the offending Manager and offending pitcher.  Official pitching logs will be available at usssa.com after each round of games.

Base Running

Teams in the 7U and 8U divisions may not lead off or steal home. Home plate is dead. Runners from 3rd base may only advance on a hit ball or when forced-in by a walk. Runners may steal after the ball crosses home plate. Bunting is allowed. The ball is dead when the pitcher has the ball in area of mound.  The infield fly rule is in effect.
Courtesy runners will be allowed for the pitcher or catcher at any time.  The courtesy runner must be a player not currently in the game or if the team has no players on bench, the last out. A courtesy runner may only run one time per inning. It is the base runner’s responsibility to avoid contact with the fielder when he has the ball. Slide or avoid is in effect at all times when fielder is in possession of ball. Intentionally running into a fielder who is in possession of the ball is grounds for ejection.

Hitting

Teams may elect to bat 9 players AND/OR bat 10 players with the 10th player being an EH.  The EH is considered a defensive player and may switch in and out defensively.  Teams may also bat their entire roster. If a team bats entire roster or has no subs when a starter is injured, an out is recorded each time the injured player’s spot comes up to bat. Once a player is removed from a game due to injury, he may not return. Starters may re-enter only one time only in their original spot on the line-up.
Only 15U divisions and up may use the DH, but only if they are not using the EH.

Teams may play with 8 players with an out being taken for each time the 9th spot comes up. A 9th player may be added any time during the game.

More info on 2016-2017 Bat Regulations:
Information on Legal Bat Markings | Approved Bat Manufacturers | Withdrawn/Non-Compliant Bats

PLEASE NOTE:  In Southern California Tournaments, 14U teams and older must use BBCOR or Wooden Bats.

Length of Game

07U – 08U: Play 6 innings with no new inning after 1 hour 30 minutes
09U – 12U: Play 6 innings with no new inning after 1 hour 45 minutes
13U & up: Play 7 innings with no new inning after 2 hours
These time limits will be applied to all pool play and non-gold division championships games. We will make every attempt to put no time limit on Gold division championship games.
Once an inning begins, it must be completed. However, if the home team is ahead and batting when time expires, the game is over and the inning is not completed. In an effort to keep games on time and to conserve pitching, no extra innings are played during pool play. Games will end either at end of scheduled innings or when time expires. If time expires in a tie game during pool play, the game is called a tie.
In the event a team cannot make it’s scheduled time the tournament director will first attempt to condense the schedule. If the schedule cannot be condensed a forfeit win will be awarded.
A win awarded by forfeit will be scored as 1 run for each scheduled inning. (example, a 12u game scheduled for 6 innings will be scored 6-0 for the winning team).
USSSA reserves the right to modify the length of games due to issues involving limited visibility or park curfew. Every effort will be made to finish the tournament but in cases of rain, darkness or other acts of God, the tournament director reserves the right to shorten games or modify schedules in order to finish the event.
Requirements for a Mercy rule are as follows:
7 inning game:
  • 15 run lead after 3 innings
  • 12 run lead after 4 innings
  • 8 run lead after 5 innings
6 inning game:
  • 15 run lead after 3 innings
  • 8 run lead after 4 innings
  • 7U Only-5 Run max per inning thru 3 innings
Rainout/Tournament Cancellation Policy

In the event of tournament being cancelled by weather or any other unpreventable occurrence, every effort will be made to complete the tournament. Schedules may be changed, games may be shortened and a two day tournament may become a one day tournament. In the event of a rainout with no make-up tournament scheduled, we will offer all teams a credit based on the following criteria:A full rainout, meaning no games were played, a credit will be issued for the entire entry fee
  • If one game was played, a team will receive credit for ½ of the entry fee
  • If two games are played, no credit will be given
  • All credits must be used in Southern California USSSA Tournaments

If a tournament is rained out while in progress and a make-up is scheduled, there will be no refund or credit for teams that do not play the make-up. The tournament director has the right to alter schedules, adjust time limits, or adjust the number of playoff participants in order to complete the tournament. The tournament director also has the right to alter the amount of the credits issued.

Schedules are not final until 12pm the day before the tournament start date.

Miscellaneous

The Home team will be determined by a coin flip and occupy the 3rd base dugout. Winner of coin flip has option to choose visitors. In the playoffs, the higher seeded team will be the Home team for duration of tournament. Each team may provide a scorekeeper but all changes must go through the home plate umpire, who is the official scorekeeper.

All conversations with an umpire should be conducted after a time-out has been called and be handled in a calm and professional manner.  Verbal abuse of the umpire will not be tolerated and may result in ejection from the game.

Any manager or coach ejected from the game is required to sit out the next game also.  After being ejected, a manager or coach must vacate the premises of the current game and the next game in which he is suspended. Any manager caught continuing to coach after being ejected or suspended will be suspended for an additional period of time. Any player ejected from a game is subject to a one game suspension at the tournament director’s discretion.

Managers are responsible for the conduct of his players and fans at all times. Managers are subject to ejection if his players or fans are out of control.

No more than three (3) coaches will be allowed in the dugout during USSSA games. All assistant coaches must be listed on your team’s online roster on www.usssa.com. There is a drop down menu to add them. In addition, no one other than official team coaches and players are allowed in the dugout at any time.

To protest a game, the umpire must be informed that the game is being played under protest.  Once the protest has been made, you must get a ruling from a tournament director immediately.  Do not continue the game under any circumstances. Once the next pitch is thrown, both teams have lost the right to protest.

Any team forfeiting a game may not advance to playoff round if it is determined that it is beneficial to that team with regard to runs allowed/differential, etc.

Mechanical noise makers are not allowed at USSSA Southern California events.

USSSA reserves the right to change locations of tournaments.
6u Tournament Rules

1. PLAYING FIELDS:

A. Pitching Distance: 35 feet (Machine Pitch OR Coach Pitch) you must play the game the way you started

B. Distance between bases: 50 Feet

C. The recommended homerun fence distances:

1) Foul Line: 125 ft minimum to 150 ft maximum

2) Centerfield: 125 ft minimum to 150 ft maximum

D. A 2-foot vertical line will be drawn halfway between each base to assist the umpire in determining where to place the runner when a batted ball is dead. Player must have both feet completely over this line to be entitled to the next base.

E. Ten foot horizontal lines will be drawn 15 feet from the base lines and second base to determine where the outfield begins and the infield ends.

2. EQUIPMENT:

A. Catchers must wear full catchers gear (Mask, Chest Protector and Shin Guards) No Exceptions

B. The ball should weigh not less than 5 or more than 5 1/4 ounces & measure not less than 9 or more than 9 1/4 inches in circumference.

3. TOURNAMENT PITCHING:

A. Machine Pitch OR Coach Pitch

B. The player fielding the pitcher’s position shall take a position five (5) feet to the rear of the pitching machine and 3 feet to the left or right. A 2 foot line will be drawn at this position. The player must keep at least one foot on this line until the start of the pitch. If the other foot is free it will be on the side of the line extending away from the pitching machine.

C. If a batted ball strikes the coach pitcher, the ball is dead, the pitch counts as a strike and no runners shall advance.

(PENALTY): The coach pitcher shall be warned once and if a second infraction occurs the coach pitcher must be removed for the remainder of the game and a new coach pitcher put in his/her place.

D. If a batted ball strikes the pitching machine and remains in fair territory, the ball is in play.

E. If a batted ball strikes the pitching machine and goes into foul territory, the ball is dead, the batter is awarded first base and all runners advance one base.

F. The coach who is feeding the pitching machine shall not give coaching instructions to batters after they hit the ball or to base runners. They may not in any way interfere with the defensive players.

4. PLAYING RULES:

A. Game length shall be five (5) innings or 1 hour and 15 minutes unless the score is tied. In this event the game will be played to its conclusion.

B. All players listed on the Affidavit will bat. Once the batting order is submitted to the scorekeeper it will not be changed, except for injury, illness or ejection.

C. A batted ball becomes dead when an infielder has control of the ball in the infield or at a base, has possession of the ball and holds the ball over their head.

D. Defensive and Offensive Substitutions:

1) Minimum of nine players shall be used defensively with a maximum of ten. There will be free defensive substitutions.

2) There shall be a maximum of four outfielders, stationed not less than 15 feet behind the baseline when the coach pitches the ball.

E. Offensive coaches will be stationed in the coach’s boxes and as a coach feeding the pitching machine. The fourth coach will be in the dugout or designated area. One defensive coach will be behind the catcher or designated area as directed by the umpire and/or Tournament Director.

5. BATTERS:

A. Are not permitted to bunt. (Penalty: The batter shall be called back to the plate, the swing is a foul-strike, the ball is dead and no runners may advance).

B. The batter is out if failing to hit a fair ball after a maximum of five (5) pitches or after 3 strikes from the coach pitcher feeding the machine.

C. A batter is not out on a foul ball, foul strike, and/or foul tip unless it is the fifth pitch.

6. RUNNERS:

A. Runners are not permitted to steal or lead-off, and shall remain in contact with the base until the ball crosses the plate.(Penalty: Runner is out).

B. On a batted ball runners may advance until an infielder has control of the ball in the infield

or at a base and holds the ball up. Once the ball becomes dead and in the judgment of the umpire the runner has not gone entirely beyond the halfway point between the bases, the runner will be required to return to the base in which they are comingfrom.

C. No infield fly rule.

7. MERCY RULES:

A. 15 runs after 3 innings or 10 runs after 4 innings

B. Maximum five (5) runs per half inning. Maximum five (5) runs per half inning.

(1) No maximum runs apply in the 5th and all subsequent innings.

Bat Restrictions: There are no bat restrictions in the 6u division