If any rules issues arise not covered in this document, umpires will defer to NCHSAA rulebook (NFHS rules).
Age date is May 1. To be eligible a player’s 9th birthday must be May 1 or later. Birthdates of all players are to be listed on the Tournament Waiver Forms.
Roster - Open roster, 15 player limit (thus, a team may have different players on Saturday and Sunday, as long as all players are listed on the 15 player roster and all waiver forms have been signed).
We will use a continuous batting order. Courtesy runner is allowed for the catcher only. Courtesy runner is the player making the last out.
If a runner is unable to continue because of injury, the person making the last out will be the base runner. Loss of player due to injury will NOT result in an automatic out. Loss of a player in continuous batting order line-up for any other reason will result in an out for that player's NEXT at bat (thus, only once).
Batting helmets required. Full catcher's gear required for catcher (catcher may use any type of glove).
Bats are not to exceed 33 inches in length or 2 5/8 inch in diameter. Bats must have a BPF of 1.15 or less. (Thus, approved Big Barrel bats ARE allowed).
No on-deck circle.
Coin flip to determine home/visitor for each game.
Offensive coach pitches from Machine or same distance (if coach pitch). First and third base coaches must be adults.
Two defensive coaches allowed. They must remain outside the foul lines and beyond 1st and 3rd base at all times.
A maximum of 5 adults will be allowed in the dugout (includes coaches, manager, scorekeeper). One adult must be in the dugout at all times. Only players and adults allowed in dugout. No bat boys/girls allowed.
Pitcher may stand to right or left of machine or pitching coach, but may not be in front of machine or pitching coach until after the ball is pitched. Teams must field a pitcher and pitcher must be within 10 feet of pitching machine or pitching coach when pitch is delivered.
If ball hits machine, coach operating pitching machine, or coach pitching it will be a dead ball, no pitch. Coaches within field of play are subject to interference rules.
Ball will become dead at umpire discretion (generally when in possession of an infielder and runners are no longer trying to advance, i.e., when natural play has stopped).
10 player maximum on defense - 4 outfielders must play same depth.
6 inning or 1 hour, 20 minute time limit. Next inning begins with last out of prior inning. If any time is left on the clock, a new inning will be played. If the home team is leading when time expires, ball game is over.
5 pitches to put the ball in play. If the 5th + pitch is fouled off, an extra pitch will be given. Coach may request a "dial in" pitch from machine or warm up pitch (if coach pitching) at any time (e.g., when a new ball is put in play). Once a batter is in the box, any pitch (by machine or coach) counts towards the 5 pitch maximum per batter. If the 5th pitch (5th or 5th+ pitch only) is clearly unhittable (not just a "ball" but in the dirt, way overhead, way inside or outside), an extra pitch will be awarded (based on umpire's judgment).
3 swinging strikes and the batter is out.
No lead offs. No stealing. Runner may not leave till the ball is hit. Runners leaving early will be called out (delayed dead ball). Runners missing a base will be called out by umpire (delayed dead ball and NOT an appeal play). Tag ups will be a standard appeal play.
No bunting (attempted bunt will be called a strike).
No head-first sliding (runner will be called out on delayed dead ball).
Infield fly rule will NOT be in effect.
Home team has the official game book. Visiting team manager should check with home team scorekeeper each inning and resolve any scoring issues with plate umpire.
Pool play: tie games will end in a tie. Bracket play: extra innings – international rules will apply (last out will start on 2B to start the extra inning and you can not pinch run this runner). Bracket play will play until final result.
Machine pitch speed at discretion of offensive team-- distance from back of home plate to front of machine will be 42 feet, no exceptions. Teams may use their own pitching machine (strongly encouraged) or one provided by the tournament. Machines must be spring loaded such as the Louisville Slugger UPM 45 Blue Flame. It is the manager's responsibility to have a machine completely dialed in at 42 feet so that a switch in machines between or mid-inning is done swiftly.
If a team chooses to have a coach pitch instead of machine pitch, the coach must pitch from a minimum distance of 42 feet and must pitch overhand on a relatively level plane (i.e., no high arcing pitches such as those used in adult slow-pitch softball).
A maximum of 5 runs or 3 outs will constitute an offensive inning for innings 1 through 5. A maximum of 10 runs or 3 outs will constitute an offensive inning for the sixth inning.
12 run mercy rule after 3 innings; 10 run mercy rule after 4 innings. A team behind by 15+ runs may concede at any time (play may continue as scrimmage until time limit is reached).
One time out allowed per inning for offensive and defensive team.
Each team to supply 2 baseballs/game (balls will not be returned). We are using standard (hard) baseballs, not low impact baseballs. Game balls selected by umpire (not by offensive or defensive coach).
Bracket play seeding: 1) won-loss record from initial two games; 2) defensive runs allowed; 3) coin flip or random draw if 3+ teams are tied for a seeded position
All playing fields and spectator areas are non-smoking.
Warm up space is available at each playing field beyond field fencing.
Unsportsmanlike behavior will not be tolerated from fans, players, or coaches.