A. Player Guidelines

In all age divisions, the player’s age on April 30th determines the player’s eligible age division for the current season. Players can play up an age division but can never play down.  Eligibility is also based on grade. We have a grade exception rule based on one age up. For example, a 16-year-old first-year student can play in the 15U - Freshman age division—but not a 17-year-old. Age is always first – 15u is 15u – but if you are freshmen and 16 yrs old, not 17 yrs old, you are eligible to play 15u – Freshmen.

Team Sports Tournaments will use NFHS ( High School ) Rules with the following exceptions --- Note - all ages are allowed to lead off and steal bases.

  1. Courtesy runner for pitcher or catcher at any time is allowed. It must be a player not currently in the line-up. If there are no players available on the bench then last out made is used. The runner cannot be the same for both pitcher and catcher.
  2. 9u - 18u All games will have a 2-hour time limit except the championship game. NO inning can start after the 2-hour limitation – however, once started the inning must finish. THE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME WILL HAVE NO TIME LIMIT! – Consolation Rounds will remain at 2 hrs for all age groups. The Umpire will verify the start time with the home scorebook. The umpire’s watch then becomes the official time and it is his decision when the 2-hour limit is reached. The clock starts once grounds rules are completed. The 2 hr limit must be reached before the last out of the current inning, not before the first pitch of the next inning to have reached the time limit – For example ( the last is recorded at 1 hr 59 min. we are playing another inning )
  3. If the game is tied after the time limit has expired in POOL PLAY, the game will end in a tie. – IF a game is tied IN the championship rounds after the time limit we will go to the Team Sports Shootout. 
  4. Shootout Format – the home team remains the home team. An inning starts with a runner on 2nd base, 1-1 count on the batter, all ensuing batters, and NO outs. Play 3 outs – both teams bat. If after a full inning is played the game remains tied – we will play a second inning under the same format and so on until a winner is decided. 
  5. Run rule is 15 after 3 innings, 10 after 4 innings, and 8 after 5 in all games. This includes the Championship Round.  If the time limit has been achieved and the home team is leading the game is over.  We will not play the bottom half of the inning
  6.  The following pitching rules will apply to the 9u, 10u,11u, and 12u divisions the per game max is 3 innings with no max limit for the tournament -- Coaches it is up to you to make sure that kids are used properly - It is not the responsibility of the Tournament Officials.  There are no pitching rules or limitations at 13u, 14u, 15u, 16u, 17u, or 18u. I trust at this level of play the Coaches have the player's best interest in mind ?? 
  7. Penalty for exceeding innings pitched – the manager is removed from the game - and the game will proceed from the point where the violation occurred.

  8. Metal spikes are allowed in the 13-18 age groups – ages 9-12 must use rubber or plastic molded spikes.
  10. A flip of a coin between the two teams determines the home team for each pool play game. For bracket play games, the highest seed is the home team, including the championship game unless seeds were not used then a coin flip will decide the home team.
  11. Base Distances/Pitching Distances/ Game Length
    • 9u – 10u 65/46 -- 6 innings
    • 11u – 12u 70/50 -- 6 innings
    • 13u 54/80 -- 7 innings
    • 14u – 18u 60/90 - 7 innings A legal slide can be either foot first or head first. If a runner slides feet first, at least one leg and buttock must be on the ground. If a runner slides, he or she must slide within the reach of the base with either a hand or a foot.
  12. Runners are never required to slide, but if a runner elects to slide, the slide must be legal.

    If a tag play is imminent, the runner should slide or seek to avoid contact. 

    No player can initiate malicious contact. It is the umpire’s judgment call that determines whether the contact is malicious.

    PENALTY: The player initiating malicious contact is removed from the game. Note: There can be a collision where both players go head over heels that is not malicious contact. The key to malicious contact is intent. Umpires must ask themselves when making the call, “Did the runner deliberately or intentionally run into the fielder to break up the play or cause harm to the fielder?” If the answer is yes, then you have malicious contact, if the answer is no, then it is a clean play and you have nothing. Umpires must be careful when making this call to avoid ejecting players if the intent is not there. Keep in mind that the younger ages are just learning the game, and sometimes there is contact by the runner not sliding and running into the catcher. Remember, the keyword is intent.

    If a defensive player is obstructing the runner (judgment call by the umpire), contact by the runner is not illegal unless it is malicious.

  13. Balk rule: 11 and under 1 balk warning per pitcher, 12u 1 balk warning per team, 13 and up no balk warnings. 
  14. Once a pitcher leaves the pitching position (mound) for 1 pitch – he cannot return as a pitcher for the remainder of the game
  15. Bats must be made of an approved material and be smooth and round. There are no bat restrictions in the 9u – 13u divisions unless notice is made available regarding a specific bat being illegal.  In the 14u division only minus 5 or minus 3 bat areas are allowed. If a 14u (60/90) team plays up at 15u they must use a minus 3 - BBCOR certified bat.  They will be held to the high school bat restriction rule - 15u and 18u will use the Ohio High School Bat Restriction – minus 3 with a BBCOR Certification. Any bat - nonwood - must be stamped BBCOR for 15u - 18u -- BESR Certified Bats are not legal - must be BBCOR Certified. All Wood Bats are acceptable - including Wood Composite.  
    If a player is found using an illegal bat that player will be ejected and the at-bat will be an out or the result of the play - whichever benefits the opposing team.  The illegal bat must be found during or immediately after the at-bat - not a batter later.
  16. Protest fee $100 – cash only. The game will be delayed and a ruling made immediately by the Tournament director. If the protest is won $100 will be returned, if you lose the protest you will forfeit your $100.
  17. Intentional walks – no pitches need to be thrown.
  18. Re-entry Rule – a starting player may re-enter the game one time in their original batting order. Substitutes may not re-enter the game once removed.
  19. Players may only be on one roster per tournament, and can only play for 1 team in the tournament violation will result in games forfeited.
  20. Games suspended will begin where they left off. Suspended games can be due to darkness or weather. However, if 4 innings are complete or 3 ½, if the home team is leading the game, is considered official. In 6 innings games 3 innings or 2 ½ if the home team is leading. All games called before these limits are reached are considered suspended. if the game is called due to weather and is in the middle of an inning and is an official game, we go back to the last completed inning for scoring.
  21. Game time is forfeit time. Teams may start with 8 players and when the 9th player shows he can be inserted into the game in the 9th spot in the batting order. If a team forfeits a game during the tournament they are not permitted to move to on to any Championship Round games - they will be allowed to play Consolation Round Games. All Forfeits will be recorded as 1 - 0.
  22. If a team drops below nine players due to injury, no automatic out is recorded. If a team drops below nine eligible players due to an ejection or any reason other than injury and leaves the game, an automatic out is declared in the batting order position of the player that left the game unless there is an eligible substitute.

    If a team drops below eight players for any reason, the game has ruled a forfeit and is not rescheduled.

  23. Catchers must be properly equipped – umpires' discretion.
  24. Batting team is required to retrieve foul balls and HRs and returns game balls to the umpire – you hit it you get it.
  27. Turf Fields -- with the turf fields being more and more in-play all teams must be respectful of the cost of installing and maintaining the facility.  The rules are NO metal spikes --- NO Sunflower Seeds -- No Gum.  Teams found not following these guidelines will forfeit their game and pay the cost to repair and clean the field.
  28. Playoffs/Tie Breakers
    Seeding results will be available on the Team Sports Tournaments website ( ) once Pool Play Games have been completed for your age division.)
    If teams are tied after pool play, the following process will be followed:
    Head to Head only applies if all teams that are tied have played each other.  If they have not we go to the next tie-breaker and we keep moving forward until all ties are broken. Once the ties are broken and only 2 teams are remaining we do NOT go back to the head-to-head record.
    A.  Fewest Runs Allowed
    B.  Run Differential -- we only allow a plus or minus 8 per game
    C.  Runs Scored 
    D.  Coin Flip
    In the event there is an uneven amount of Pool Play games between teams due to rain, there is a possibility we could seed based on Win % with exceptions -- for example, 2-0 is better than 1-0, 1-0 is better than 1-1 --- 
    Please note: there will be no re-seeding in the playoff brackets.
  29. Batting Order --- In ages 9u - 13u teams can use an EH ( Extra Hitter ) or roster bat.  If teams choose to roster bat and a player is hurt and has to leave the game there is no out when that spot comes up in the order.  If a player is ejected then that spot will be an out when it comes up in the order.  The EH is free to play any defensive position --- the batting order must remain intact.
    Ages 14u - 18u -- teams can use a DH, EH, or roster bat.  The DH can be for any defensive player and NFHS DH rules apply.
  30. Ages 9u and 10u --- Dropped 3rd strike the batter is out -- however baserunners may advance.  Baserunners can steal home.
  31. Scorekeeping --- we realize technology is a great thing but if using an electronic device to keep the official book please make sure it is powered up.  It is always best to keep a paper book as a backup --- those do not turn off and lose the game information.
    A. Each team's manager must prepare 1 written copy of his lineup listing the first and last names and numbers of all players and substitutes before each game.       Lineups then must be provided to the opposing team’s manager.  If a player is not listed on the lineup card he is not permitted to play in that game
    B. The Official Scorebook is to be kept by the home team. Both teams are to confer after each inning to confirm the score.  If there is a question as to score the home book or tablet is official.
    C. In the event of a rain delay, please write down the Entire Situation, including INNING, SCORE, BATTER, COUNT, RUNNER'S, TIME OF DELAY
  32. Refund Policy --- There will be no entry refunds for withdrawal from a tournament within 30 days of the start of that particular event. If a team registers, pays, and then drops out before the 30 days, they can either transfer their entry or receive a refund less a $150 administrative fee. Refunds due to weather postponement will be calculated by the number of games played.  Please Note: If you withdraw from an Age Division that is FULL you will not receive a refund until/if your spot is replaced by another team! ($100 Admin Fee still applies). The weather refunds will go as follows:
    For 3 Game Minimum Events --
    A. 0 games played: Entry fee minus a $100 administrative fee
    B. 1 game played: 50% Refund
    C. 2 games played: No Refund
    For 4 game minimum events --- 
    A. 0 games played: Entry fee minus a $100 administrative fee
    B. 1 game played - 50% refund
    C. 2 games played - no refund
    D. 3 games played -- No refund
    For 5-game minimum events
    A. 0 games played: Entry Fee minus a $150 administrative fee
    B. 1 game played - 75% refund
    C. 2 games played - 50% refund
    D. 3 games played - 25% refund
    E . 4 games played - No Refund