These are the most common and/or most unique rules being used for this event. Please see "Official Rulebook" for exhaustive list of playing rules. When in conflict, rules written here shall supercede those in the official rulebook.
As a player, you are responsible for knowing all official rules of the game. By participating in the league, you are agreeing that you are aware of all rules associated with the league and the sport, and agree to abide by them at all times.
This event is intended to be FUN first. We welcome players of ALL SKILL LEVELS to our fields, and therefore set rules that ensure the safety and enjoyment of our skilled players and our novices equally.
Be supportive of one another. Fighting, excessive verbal abuse, and poor sportsmanship will not be tolerated. Event organizers reserve the rights to dismiss any player from the event without refund.
Fighting / Arguing / Poor Sportsmanship
If teams are beginning to get chippy and tempers are flaring, the umpires will issue a full warning to both dugouts. After that point, no loud negative yelling or loud negative verbal communication may occur from one team directed at the other team. Any such communication will result in an immediate ejection from the game from the offending party. For purposes of clarification, players on opposing teams can continue to and are encouraged to chat with each other on an individual basis (i.e. congratulating a nice play/hit, having a polite convo while standing on 1st base, complimenting a nice pitch, etc) but no "Smack talk", rules disagreements, or yelling will be permitted. Coaches of both teams may continue speaking with one another as needed, but must do so with a tone of civility in the presence of the umpire.
Length: All games will run for a maximum of 55 minutes or the completion of 7 innings, whichever comes first.
Run Rules: Games will be declared over by "run rule" if the winning team is ahead by 20 runs at the conclusion of the 3rd inning, 15 runs at the conclusion of the 4th inning, or 10 runs at the conclusion of the 5th inning or later.
Extra Innings: Games tied at the conclusion of the time limit will go into extra innings. During extra innings play, the batting team will have a runner automatically placed on second (must be the last out from the previous inning) and all batters will face a 3-ball, 2-strike pitch count when they approach the plate.
Home/Away: The coaches will meet the umpire at home plate ahead of the game, and the game timer will start. During pool play, the umpire will flip a coin to determine home team. During tourney play, the higher seed has the option of selecting home or away.
Umpires: Excessive arguing and/or abusive language will never be tolerated. Umpires may issue warnings and dismiss players from a game if they are found to be abusive. Event officials reserve the right to ban players from the event with no refund if abusive behavior continues.
Pitching: All pitchers will be required to use either a provided safety net or helmet safety protectors. Shin guards are highly recommended, but not required. A pitcher is allowed and encouraged to use both. A protective mask that does not provide any protection beyond the face will be deemed insufficient and require the pitcher to use the safety net.
Unsafe Throws: Outfielders are not allowed to complete force out throws to first base. Any throw from outfield to first base for the intention of a force out will be ruled a dead ball and the runner will be awarded 2nd base. Infielders brought into the outfield grass through defensive actions are allowed to complete the throw for a force out at first base.
Hitting Middle: It's not illegal, but it is dangerous and some of our novice players may not be able to control it. But for those of you that can - don't be a jerk. If you feel the other team is hitting middle a lot, don't take revenge and escalate... it's not that kind of event.
Pitching Screens: These screens are intended for safety, not to create an extra defensive player on the field. Screen must be positioned no more than three feet ahead of the pitching rubber. One of the pitching screen support legs must be lined up within the width of the pitching rubber and cannot be set to the side of the rubber. There's no multiple swapping between screen and helmet during an inning.
Pitcher Defense: If the screen is on the field, the pitcher must use it for partial protection whether or not they are also wearing safety gear. After pitching the ball, the pitcher must obtain at least partial cover behind the net and must have a portion of their body behind the screen when the ball is struck by the batter. If the pitcher is not using a safety helmet, their head/face must be positioned behind the screen upon contact. Once the ball is struck by the batter, the pitcher is allowed to move from behind the screen to attempt to field the ball if they can do so safely. A pitcher may field a slow moving ground ball in front of the screen if they can get to it before it hits the screen. If the ball contacts any portion of the screen, it is immediately ruled a foul ball. If the umpire sees the pitcher extending away from the net prior to the ball being struck, they may call "no pitch" and issue a warning to the pitcher to get at least partial cover behind the screen. Subsequent violations may result in automatic balls or awarding of first base, subject to umpire discretion.
Injury Exceptions: In the cases of injury, some rules may be bent to avoid placing players in harm's way. Coaches facing a situation that they believe requires an adjustment must discuss with the opposing coach a recommended solution. Opposing coach must approve the solution, and such approval should not be unreasonably withheld.
Injured Player / Can Not Continue: If a player is significantly injured in the course of play and cannot continue, they shall be removed from the lineup. When their batting position comes up, it shall be skipped and not counted as an automatic out. Player is unable to return to play for that game and, at a minimum, the game following. Exceptions for this rule may be made for extended breaks between games (i.e. a player injured Saturday night can play their first game Sunday if they can safely do so).
Metal Cleats: Metal cleats are prohibited. Please use soft or hard rubber cleats, or turf shoes only.
Equipment (Bats): Any USSSA 220-certified bat and above may be used in this event. Bats that are certified at 220 standards must be tested and pass compression tests to be used. Bats must be in good condition, and not modified in any substantial way (i.e. shaved). To use a 220 bat, the player must bring it to the Tailgate tent for testing and to receive a bat sticker. Each player may test one bat for free for use during the tournament. We reserve the right to test and disqualify any bat that doesn't pass the standard. We will hold the DQ-ed bat until the end of the tournament and it is the player's responsibility to retrieve it. Any 220 bat that is used within the tournament without being tested will result in an automatic out for that batter, and confiscation of the bat for the rest of the tournament, regardless of whether or not it passes the compression test.
Equipment (Balls): All balls will be supplied for this event, external balls are not allowed. Each team is responsible for providing the opponent with 1 12" ball for male batters and 1 11" ball for female batters. Non-binary players will play under the rules of the gender found on their official state ID.
Legal Rosters: All teams have been drafted with a near-even number of women on their team, and rules are set based on this expectation. Should injuries or missing players create a roster imbalance, the tourney director shall be consulted on an appropriate course of balancing to allow teams to continue play.
Defense: A minimum of 2 female players must be on the defense at all times. If only one female is present on the field, she may not play catcher.
Walks: If a male batter is walked with a female batter coming up to bat, the male batter is awarded second base and the female batter is given the option to choose an automatic walk or to hit as normal. The decision to walk is up to the sole discretion of the batter and coaches shall not force a walk on any player who wishes to hit.
Pitch Count: All batters start with a count of 1 ball and 1 strike. For extra innings or games quickened due to weather/scheduling issues, all batters start with a full count. There are no courtesy fouls.
Home Runs: Home runs are limited in this event. Each team is allotted FOUR home runs without penalty. All home runs hit over the fence that are higher than the allotted total of home runs are automatically counted as an "out". Women home runs are unlimited and do not count towards team totals.
Pinch Runners: The pitcher may have an unrestricted courtesy runner each inning, but may not themselves be a courtesy runner. In addition to the courtesy runner for the pitcher, one unrestricted runner, per gender each inning. Any additional runners required over the allotted one due to injury or runner request must be supplied as the last out who matches the gender of the runner being substituted, and opposing coach must be informed of this necessity. Runners have the right to reject a coaches' suggestion for a runner.
Pitching: Pitching will follow USSSA pitching standards and regulations, unless specified here. There are no pump fakes in this event. A ball batted into a pitcher's screen will be ruled as a dead ball, foul ball.
Minimum Innings on Defense: During Pool Play, each rostered player must complete a minimum of three defensive innings in the field. During the final tournament, the minimum innings played requirement is reduced to two. Each player on the roster must play at least one defensive inning prior to the 4th inning. If a pitch is thrown in the 7th inning and a player on defense has not reached their minimum inning requirement and is on the bench and has not been previously declared out/injured, the team batting will be awarded an extra "out" for the inning, thus allowing for four total outs. The player must immediately be installed on the defense prior to the continuation of play.
First Team to Bat: During pool play, this is determined by a double coin flip with the umpire ahead of the game. During the winner's bracket portion of tourney play, the higher seed has the option of selecting home or away.
Only official, insured photographers may be on the field during play. Players are welcome to take their own personal photos from behind the fences.
Photography packages (teams and individual) available for purchase in advance or at the merch table:
Purchase in Advance
Friday - 7-9pm
Princess Anne Sports Complex
Date / Time TBD
It's like Top Golf, but for softball! Details TBA.Purchase in Advance
These are guidelines and rules for the event that all coaches must acknowledge and follow. Please review all rules carefully.
The official rules for the sport, which may or may not be from a sanctioning body.
Rules have not been posted yet. Please check back later.