Rules do NOT apply to any World Series events, out of area, or tournaments run in conjunction with other leagues.
3.01.B: All grade based players must have a copy of their current report card, or official school ID with grade, or any official government document stating the grade.
3.02: A player that is found to be illegal due to an age or grade violation during or after a league or tournament game, shall result in the offending team losing the game(s) team and player being ejected from the tournament, team being placed last in the standings and forfeiting all awards, points, sponsors travel money, and berths that would have been or have been awarded. The illegal player shall be removed from the offending team’s Official Online Roster and additional penalties may be applied to the illegal player and / or team manager / coaches.
3.03: A player shall be eligible to compete in the USSSA Baseball program as long as he abides by the USSSA Constitution and the Official Baseball National By-laws & Rules when his first name, last name (no middle names, nick names, shortened names, slang names, initials, prefixes or suffixes are allowed) and date of birth (in proper format – mm/dd/yyyy) are listed EXACTLY as they appear on his original birth certificate, as a member on an eligible team’s Official Online Roster. Failure to comply with this rule shall result in your team being prohibited from participating in USSSA.
3.05.A.2: Players shall only physically play for one (1) team per day, event, tournament, week or weekend, regardless of location, venue, age division and / or classification.
4.01: State Directors shall have the authority to amend these National By-laws & Rules to accommodate the needs of the Qualifying Tournament with the approval of the Association’s Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations.
Divisions are based upon a player’s age as of the 2021 League Age date (April 30th, 2021). To determine a player’s League Age, use USSSA’s age calculator. Players may play up in age but may not play down. The 2021 season runs from Aug. 1, 2020 to July 31, 2021. 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.
1.) A nine (9) player line-up, or a nine (9) player line-up with a Designated Hitter (DH), or
2.) A ten (10) player line-up with an Extra Hitter (EH), or a 10 player line-up with a DH and EH, or
3.) A continuous line-up of all present, eligible, uniformed players. (No DH allowed)
Such line-up must be declared before the start of the game and used the entire game.
(Note: The DH can be used for any position player.)
THE DH IS NOT ALLOWED IN THE 6U, 7U OR 8U DIVISIONS
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.
Chart 7.01.A-17U-8U: 60′ Base Paths, 40′ Pitching Distance9U-10: 65′ Base Paths, 46′ Pitching Distance11U-12U: 70′ Base Paths, 50′ Pitching Distance13U: 80′ Base Paths, 54′ Pitching Distance13U & up: 90′ Base Paths, 60′ 6″ Pitching Distance
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.
7.04.A: An Intentional Walk may be issued upon announcement from either the pitcher or catcher without throwing pitches.
Pitching restrictions for tournaments are as follows:
7.05.B.1 ONE DAY MAXIMUM TO PITCH THE NEXT DAY: The maximum number of innings a player can legally pitch in one (1) day and still pitch the next day is three (3) innings.
7.05.B.2 ONE DAY MAXIMUM: The maximum number of innings a player can legally pitch in one (1) day is six (6) innings in the 7U – 12U age divisions or seven (7) innings in the 13U – 14U age divisions.
7.05.B.3 THREE DAY MAXIMUM: The maximum number of innings a player can legally pitch in three (3) consecutive days is eight (8) innings. A player may legally pitch eight (8) innings in two (2) days as long as the player doesn’t pitch more than three (3) innings the first (1st) day. A player may legally pitch eight (8) innings in three (3) days as long as the player doesn’t pitch more than three (3) innings the first (1st) or second (2nd) days.
7.05.B.4 MANDATORY DAYS OF REST: 7.05.B.4(a) A player that pitches more than three (3) innings in one day MUST rest the next day. 7.05.B.4(b) A player that pitches eight (8) innings in two (2) consecutive days MUST rest the next day. 7.05.B.4(c) A player that pitches three (3) consecutive days (regardless of total quantity of innings pitched) MUST rest the next day.
7.05.B.5 (LOCAL) For all cumulative totals in this rule, one (1) pitch equals one (1) inning.
Rule 7.05.B.1 – 7.05.B.7 Local Penalty: Violation of pitching restrictions will result in the automatic ejection of the offending Manager & Player. Official pitching logs will be available at usssa.com after each round of games.
7.04.C: Whenever a tag play is evident, a runner must slide or seek to avoid contact with the fielder and / or catcher. Malicious contact shall supersede all obstruction penalties. Malicious contact is solely up to the discretion of the Umpire.
Rule 7.04.C Penalty: The runner shall be called out and may be ejected from the game at the discretion of the Umpires.
All elimination and championship games, extra innings or the next inning after time expires will begin with a runner on second base and no outs. The runner at second base will be the player in the batting order position previous to the lead-off batter of the inning (or a substitute for that player). By way of example, if the number five hitter in the batting order is due to lead off the next inning, the number four player in the batting order shall begin the inning on second base. In the event the runner is the pitcher or catcher of record a courtesy runner will be allowed.
7.01.C Local: 14U teams and older must use BBCOR or Wooden Bats.
Rule 7.01.C Penalty: (First Offense) – If the Umpire discovers that a bat does not conform to USSSA Rule 7.01.C until a time during or after which the bat has been used in play, it shall not be grounds for declaring the batter out and / or ejection from the game. If the Umpire discovers that a bat has been used to put a ball in play and before the next legal pitch, the defensive team shall have the choice of the result of play or the batter being called out and all runners returning to the base occupied at the time of the pitch. (Second Offense) – If a team is found in violation of this rule a second time, then the manager shall be ejected in addition to the First Offense penalty.
7.02.D.1: Teams may bat a nine (9) player line-up, or a nine (9) player line-up with a Designated Hitter (DH), or a ten (10) player line-up with an Extra Hitter (EH), or a 10 player line-up up with a DH and EH, or a continuous line-up of all present, eligible, uniformed players. Such line-up must be declared before the start of the game and used the entire game.
Note: The DH can be used for any position player.
Note: The DH is not allowed in the 6u, 7u or 8u Divisions.
7.02.D.1(a): If a team uses a line-up that contains substitute players, all starting players may be removed and re-enter the game once, but must re-enter in their original position in the batting order. Non-starters are not allowed to re-enter. When a starter re-enters, the player in the starter’s batting position in the batting order must be removed from the game and is ineligible for the remainder of the game.
7.02.D.1(b): If a team uses a line-up that contains ten (10) players, the player in the Extra Hitter position has free defensive substitution.
7.02.D.1(c): If a team uses a continuous line-up, all players other than the nine (9) defensive position players are Extra Hitters and may move freely in defensive positions with the exception of the pitching position. Any player(s) arriving after the game has begun, shall be added to the bottom of the batting line-up. When using the continuous lineup and a player has to leave the game for any reason, that position in the line-up becomes an out when that at bat comes around.
Local: Once a player is removed from a game due to injury, they may not return.
7.02.F: Teams may play an official game with an eight (8) player line-up. If a team plays with an eight (8) player line-up, an out shall be declared for the ninth (9th) position in the batting line-up each turn at bat. A ninth (9th) player and all subsequent players may be added to the bottom of the batting line-up as soon as they become available.
7.02.G: A team may continue a game with a minimum of eight (8) eligible players.
Length of Game
7.02.B: In League, Qualifying Tournament and State Championship play, time limits may be used with approval of the League / Tournament / State Director.
Chart 7.03.B-16 inning game, 15 run lead after 3 innings, 8 run lead after 4 innings7 inning game, 15 run lead after 3 innings, 12 run lead after 4 innings, 8 run lead after 5 inningsLocal: 7U Division: 5-Run max per inning for 1st 3 innings
7.03.C.1:For a six (6) inning game, if three (3) innings have been played or if the home team has scored more runs after two and one half (2 1/2) innings the game shall be declared a complete game.7.03.C.1(a):In bracket play if a game is tied after 4 or more innings, the score will revert back to the previous inning. If still tied, the game will be a suspended game.7.03.C.2: For a seven (7) inning game, if four (4) innings have been played or if the home team has scored more runs after three and one half (3 1/2) innings the game shall be declared a complete game.7.03.C.1(a): In bracket play if a game is tied after 5 or more innings, the score will revert back to the previous inning. If still tied, the game will be a suspended game.
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.
7.02.A: A flip of a coin between the two teams shall determine the home team for each pool play game. The highest seeded team shall be the home team for bracket play games in single elimination brackets. In double elimination brackets, the highest seeded team shall be the home team until the championship game. In the championship game, the team in the winner’s bracket shall be the home team and a coin toss shall determine the home team for the “IF” game.
Local: The Home team will occupy the 3rd base dugout. Winner of the coin flip has option to choose visitors during Pool Play. In the playoffs, the higher seeded team will be the Home team for duration of tournament. Each team must 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.
7U & 8U KID PITCH RULES
7.02.B: Length of Game 07U – 08U: Play 6 innings with no new inning after 1 hour 30 minutes
Chart 7.03.B-1 (Run Rule) 6 inning game, 15 run lead after 3 innings, 8 run lead after 4 innings
Local: 7U Division: 5-Run max per inning for 1st 3 innings
11.01 Nine (9) defensive players shall play in the field
11.02 Balk rules shall not apply.
11.03 A batter shall be automatically out on a dropped / missed third (3rd) strike by the catcher.
11.04 Runners shall not advance when the pitcher is on the pitching rubber with the ball in his possession and the catcher is in position to receive a pitch. On a base on balls, the batter may attempt to steal second prior to the pitcher and catcher coming set at his own risk, but if a runner is on third, he may not advance home even if the defense attempts to throw the runner out at second base.
11.05 Runners shall not lead-off but may advance at their own risk (steal) once a pitched ball has passed home plate. When a runner tries to advance prior to the pitched ball passing home plate, the following shall apply:
Rule 11.04 Approved Ruling: If the runner advances safely, the Umpire shall call “Time” and the runner shall return to the base last legally occupied at the time of the pitch. If the runner is called out, the call shall stand, and the runner is out. If the ball is hit, the defensive team shall have the option of the result of the play or a no pitch.
11.06 Runners shall not advance from third (3rd) base to home unless the runner is batted home or forced by a base on balls, hit batsman, or award from the Umpire. Runners shall not advance from third (3rd) base to home on passed balls, wild pitches or dropped / missed third (3rd) strikes by the catcher.
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.
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.
C. If the umpire or defensive player is hit by a carelessly thrown bat, he is almost certain to warn the batter that such action must be stopped. On the second offense, the player is told he will be ejected if he continues. On a third offense, the umpire should eject the offender.
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.
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.
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 coming from.
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