The Following rules pertain only to regular season USSSA Southern California tournaments.  Rules do not apply to any World Series events, out of area, or tournaments run in conjunction with other leagues.
Major League Baseball’s – National League Sporting News Rules shall apply, along with those found in the USSSA Bylaws booklet.
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.
2018 Rule Changes

7.03.A.6: Pool play games can end in a tie if the time limit is up or a complete game has been played.
All bats used, no matter the division, must have the USSSA 1.15 BPF bat mark or be a BBCOR Bat.
More info on 2017-2018 Bat Regulations:
PLEASE NOTE:  In Southern California Tournaments, 14U teams and older must use BBCOR or Wood Bats.

Divisions & Age Regulations

Divisions are based upon a player’s age as of the 2018 League Age date (April 30th, 2018).  To determine a player’s League Age, use USSSA’s age calculator. Players may play up in age but may not play down. The 2018 season runs from Aug. 1, 2017 to July 31, 2018. 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

3.01.A: In divisions 4U – 18U, all players participating in USSSA Baseball tournament play shall have photocopies of their original birth certificate in the possession of their team manager at all times. Upon protest, failure to have a photocopy of the original birth certificate immediately available upon demand shall result in the offending team losing the game(s), being ejected from the tournament, being placed last in the standings and forfeiting all awards, points, sponsors travel money, and berths that would have been or have been awarded.

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.

3.05.A.1: A Player can only play on one team in any given tournament and can only play in one tournament at any given time.
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.
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.
7.01.F: In age divisions 4U – 12U, non-metal cleats shall be worn. In age divisions 13U and older, traditional metal baseball spikes shall be permitted.
Local 7.01.F: Non-metal cleats must be worn on all portable mounds regardless of age division.
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!
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.

7.04.A: An Intentional Walk may be issued upon announcement from either the pitcher or catcher without throwing pitches.

Pitching restrictions for 2017-2018 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
7.01.A: The playing field shall be laid out according to the recommended dimensions contained within these rules. (Chart 7.01.A-1)
Chart 7.01.A-1
7U-8U: 60′ Base Paths, 40′ Pitching Distance
9U-10: 65′ Base Paths, 46′ Pitching Distance
11U-12U: 70′ Base Paths, 50′ Pitching Distance
13U: 80′ Base Paths, 54′ Pitching Distance
13U & up: 90′ Base Paths, 60′ 6″ Pitching Distance
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

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 leadoff 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.

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

7.02.D.1: Teams may bat a nine (9) player line-up, ten (10) player line-up using an Extra Hitter (EH) or continuous lineup of all present, eligible, uniformed players. Such line-up must be declared before the start of the game and used the entire game.
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, he may not return.
7.02.E: In Scholastic divisions (15U-18U), if the Extra Hitter (EH) is not be utilized, then the Designated Hitter (DH) may be utilized in accordance with the National Federation of High School Associations (NFHS) rules.

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.

More info on 2017-2018 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

7.02.B: In League, Qualifying Tournament and State Championship play, time limits may be used with approval of the League / Tournament / State Director.

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
Game Time starts after the home plate meeting.
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.
7.03.B: (Chart 7.03.B-1) An imposed Mercy (run) Rule shall be used to complete a regulation game when one team’s margin of lead is greater than or equal to the listed run differential in the corresponding listed start inning. In enforcing this rule, the home team shall not bat if they are winning and the mercy requirement is met prior to the start of the bottom half of the listed inning. Similarly, if the home team is batting and meets the mercy requirement in the bottom half of a listed inning the home team shall cease batting and the game shall end.
Chart 7.03.B-1
6 inning game, 15 run lead after 3 innings, 8 run lead after 4 innings
7 inning game, 15 run lead after 3 innings, 12 run lead after 4 innings, 8 run lead after 5 innings
Local: 7U Division: 5-Run max per inning for 1st 3 innings
7.03.C: If a game is called due to rain, Weather, light failure or other acts of Nature and cannot be resumed it is a regulation game if:
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.
7.03.D: All games that for any reason cannot be declared a regulation game pursuant to USSSA Rule 7.03.C shall be a suspended game. A suspended game when resumed, shall resume from the exact point of suspension.
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

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.

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