Official Rules

National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Baseball Rules apply except as modified or covered below.


Rosters / Birth Certificates / Team Insurance
Teams will be required to register their team with the Tournament Field Director prior to their first game. At that time, coaches will need to have copies of all players’ birth certificates on hand and available for inspection upon request during the tournament.

Each team is required to carry its own insurance and should ensure that the following is listed as an ‘Additional Insured’ on their certificate:

SW York Baseball Association, Inc.
3 Fair Avenue
Hanover, PA 17331

A copy of this certificate, along with a team roster and team liability waiver, must be submitted to by the Thursday before the tournament. Each team roster may include a maximum of 15 players.


Player Eligibility
The age cutoff date is April 30, 2021.


All players must be dressed in a full baseball uniform. Duplicate numbers are strongly discouraged. If duplicate numbers are unavoidable, a team must request and receive approval from the Tournament Director or Tournament Site Director. Opposing head coaches and scorekeepers must be notified of duplicate numbers prior to the start of the game.


Bat Restrictions
8u – 13u: Any bat with a USA or 1.15 BPF certification is legal
14u – 18u: -3 BBCOR or wood bats

If the umpire discovers that a batter enters the batter’s box with an illegal bat, the batter will be called out (even if a pitch has not been thrown). If the illegal bat is discovered after the ball is put into play (but before the next pitch is thrown to the next batter), the defensive team will have the choice of the result of play or the batter being called out and all runners returning to the base occupied before the pitch. An appeal on the legality of the bat must be made prior to the next pitch thrown to the next batter or the result of the previous at-bat will stand.

If a team is found in violation of this rule a second time (either in the same game or in any other game throughout the tournament), in addition to the previous penalty, the manager will be immediately ejected and could face further suspension.


Head coaches must attend the pre-game plate meeting with umpires to discuss sportsmanship and ground rules, exchange line-ups, review home-away team, and establish the official start time for the game.

In pool play the home team will be determined by a coin flip at the plate meeting. In bracket play, the home team will be the higher seeded team.

Dugout selection is first come, first served. The home team maintains the official scorebook.

Teams may warm-up in the outfield while the fields are being prepared. No batting practice or infield/outfield may be taken on the field by either team between games.


Official Game
8u – 12u: Four innings will constitute an official game or three and one half innings if the home team is winning.
13u – 18u: Five innings will constitute an official game or four and one half innings if the home team is winning.

A game which reaches the time limit is considered an official game regardless of the number of innings completed.

Games stopped for any reason other than time limit (weather, lightning, darkness, emergency injury, etc.) before the game is official will be suspended and resumed if possible from the point of the stoppage at a time scheduled by the Tournament Director. In the event that no feasible time can be established, the Tournament Field Director will deem the game complete at the end of the last fully completed inning, and the team that was ahead at that point will be declared the winner.


Time Limits
There will be a 1 hour and 50 minute time limit (finish the inning) on all games with the exception of the Championship Game. The official game start time (determined by the umpire) will be noted at the pre-game home plate meeting and should be recorded in the scorebooks of both teams.

No new inning may start after the 1 hour and 45 minute time limit has expired. Any inning that is in progress when the game has reached the time limit will be completed unless the home team has the lead or takes the lead during their final at bat.

A new inning officially begins as soon as the third out is recorded in the previous inning. Teams are expected to hustle on and off the field at all times to keep the games moving.

Pool play and consolation games may end in a tie. There are no extra innings in pool play games even if the time limit has not yet been reached.

If an elimination game (excluding the Championship Game) is tied after the completion of the inning in which the time limit was reached, all subsequent innings begin with the last batter to complete a turn at bat in the previous inning on second base (modified international tiebreaker rule).

There is no time limit on the Championship Game.

The Tournament Director reserves the right to shorten the time limit due to weather or other factors which could impact the schedule.


No protests will be allowed on any umpire judgment calls. The umpire possesses complete control over the game and all decisions made on the field during play by the umpire will be deemed final. Protesting the use of an ineligible player is outlined below.


Ineligibility Player Protests
If a coach questions the eligibility of a particular player, he must notify the Tournament Field Director during the game or within ten minutes following the completion of the game. The player protest fee of $100 (cash) must be paid in order to initiate an investigation.

If the player is found eligible, the fee will be deposited in the tournament treasury.

If the player is found ineligible, the $50 fee will be returned.

If a player is found ineligible and the player has not participated in any games, the game will simply be played without the ineligible player, and the head coach will be permitted to remain with his team.

If a player is found ineligible and has played in a game, any games (including any game in progress) will immediately be forfeited to the opposing team. In addition, the ineligible player and head coach will be removed from the remainder of the tournament. The team (without the ineligible player and head coach) may continue to play in the tournament.


Inclement Weather Policy
The Tournament Committee will make all decisions regarding playing conditions prior to each game and will make their best effort to get fields playable. Following the first pitch of a game, the umpire will be responsible for all stops and starts related to weather.

If the entire weekend is cancelled due to weather, the tournament refund policy will apply. If the first day is cancelled, the Tournament Director has the right to modify the tournament format and schedules to complete the tournament in a single day.

In the event of weather cancellations, the three-game guarantee is considered waived, but the Tournament Director will make all efforts to get all teams three games.

If the tournament must be cancelled after pool play has concluded, or during single elimination, the highest seeds left standing will be declared the champion and runner-up.


Tournament Payment Policy
A team’s spot in the tournament will be guaranteed once payment is received as long as the tournament is not full at the time payment is received.


Tournament Refund Policy
The following scenarios will apply to refunds should weather impact the tournament:

One game played on Saturday or Sunday: No refund will be given.

Should the entire tournament be cancelled due to weather prior to any games being played, 75% of the registration fee will be refunded. The remaining fees will be kept and used to offset the many fixed tournament expenses already incurred (trophies, umpires, field rentals, porta-pots, etc.)


Concessions will be available on site at many locations. NO GRILLING is permitted at any field location due to hosting site regulations.


Game Results Reporting
Immediately following the completion of each game, both head coaches must sign the Game Summary Card which indicates the winning and losing teams, final score and pitchers’ innings used. Game results will be posted on the official tournament website


8u: One (1) umpire for all games, including the Championship Game
9u – 10u: One (1) umpire for all games, except the Championship Game
11u: One (1) umpire for all games, except the Semi-Finals & Championship Game
12u – 18u: Two (2) umpires will be scheduled for all games

We will make every effort to cover each game with the scheduled umpires, however games may be played with one umpire in case of emergencies.


A Championship Trophy will be awarded to the winning team and second-place team in each age division. Individual championship and runner-up trophies will be awarded to players from each team. A maximum of 15 trophies will be awarded per team.


Tournament Team Cancellation Policy
A $100 fee will be charged to any team that withdraws more than 30 days from the tournament start date. There will be no refund for any withdrawals within 30 days of the tournament start date.


Parking and Admission
Parking and admission are free at all locations.


First Aid
Each team is required to carry a first aid kit at all times.


The tournament will provide new or baseballs for each game. Each team is required to have one used baseball in good shape to serve as back-up if needed.


Mercy Rule
Games may end early due to the following mercy rule:

15 runs after 3 innings
10 runs after 4 innings
8 runs after 5 innings

The mercy rule is in effect for all games including the Championship Game.


Length of Game
8u – 12u: All games are 6 innings.
13u – 18u: All games are 7 innings.


Forfeited Games
The final score of any forfeited games will be recorded as 10-0.


Game Format/Tie Breaker Criteria
The tournament format will be based upon the number of registered teams in each division. All teams will be guaranteed three games in all formats (weather permitting).

The following tie breaking criteria will be used to determine seeding following pool play:

  1. Win-Loss Record
  2. Head to Head
    Head to head will be used if only two teams are tied and have played each other, or if three teams are tied and one team beat BOTH of the other teams.
  3. Total runs allowed
  4. Run differential for all games
    Maximum of +10 runs per any single game.
  5. Lowest single-game runs allowed
  6. Blind Draw

Special note: A record of 0-0-2 is the equivalent of a 1-1 record, and both teams would be subject to the tie-breaking criteria above.


Collision Rule
All runners must slide or otherwise attempt to avoid a fielder who has possession of the ball and is waiting to make a tag. If the runner fails to do so and a collision occurs, the runner is out, the ball is dead, and trailing runners may not advance.

If a collision is intentional in the judgment of the umpire, the offending player will be ejected from the game. If a runner does not slide but does not impact the play and is called safe, then the runner remains safe. If a runner who does not slide does not cause a collision and is ruled safe, then the runner is safe.

A baserunner may not leave his feet to hurdle or dive over a defensive player unless the defensive player is lying on the ground (in which case the play is legal).


Courtesy Runners
Courtesy runners are allowed for pitcher and catcher of record with two outs in an inning. Any legal substitute may be used as the courtesy runner. For a team batting their entire line-up (or if there is no legal substitute available) the player who made the last batted out will be used as the courtesy runner.


Intentional Delays
Intentionally delaying a game to achieve victory through the time limit is considered unsportsmanlike conduct and will not be tolerated. The umpire and/or Tournament Field Director reserve the right to eject a coach or player for intentionally delaying a game and have the discretion to declare a forfeit against the offending team.


Official Start Time & Ready Play
Official Start Time will be announced at the conclusion of the home plate meeting between the umpires and head coaches. At that time, a team must start the game with 9 players. Should a team not have 9 players at the Official Start Time, the game will be declared a forfeit. There is no 15-minute grace period.

Ready Play: Teams need to be on site and ready to begin play a minimum of 45 minutes before their scheduled start time. In the event games finish early, we will begin subsequent games early.


Any player or coach who is ejected from a game will not be able to play in the following game even if it is a championship game.


Pitching Rules
8u – 10u: Pitchers are allowed to pitch 3 innings per game.
11u – 12u: Pitchers are allowed to pitch a maximum of 6 innings per day.
13u – 18u: No pitching limits placed on pitchers

Note: One pitch in an inning constitutes one inning pitched.
Penalty: Any team that violates this rule will forfeit the game in question.
Protests: Discovery MUST be made to the home plate umpire AND done before the final out of the game is recorded. Discovery after the fact will result in no penalty being assessed.


Pitching Distance
8u: 40 feet
9u – 10u: 46 feet
11u – 12u: 50 feet
13u – 18u: 60 feet, 6 inches


Base Distance
8u – 10u: 60 feet
11u – 12u: 70 feet
13u – 18u: 90 feet


Leading / Stealing
8u – No Leading / No Stealing
9u / 10u – Runners may lead off and/or steal once the ball crosses the plate. If the umpire deems the runner left his base early, he shall be declared out. No warnings will be given.
11u / 12u – Leading off and stealing are allowed.


Bunting is allowed in all divisions except 8u.

9u – 12u: Fake Bunting AND Swinging (“slash bunting” or “butcher boy play”) is not allowed and will result in an out on the first offense. The ball will be declared dead immediately, and runners may not advance. Teams will be issued a warning, and players will be ejected for any subsequent offenses.

13u – 18u: Fake Bunting AND Swinging is legal.


Infield Fly Rule
8u – 10u: No infield fly rule.
11u – 18u: Infield fly rule is in effect.


Dropped 3rd Strike
8u – 10u: No dropped 3rd strike rule.
11u – 18u: Dropped 3rd strike rule is in effect.


8u – 10u: No balks will be called.
11u – 12u: One balk warning per pitcher. Any balk called thereafter will follow book rule.
13u – 18u: Balks will be called. No warnings.

All balks will be an immediate dead ball and runners advance one base.


8u – 12u: Metal cleats are not permitted.
13u – 18u: Metal cleats are permitted.


Defense / Defensive Substitutions
Defensive players are in no way tied to the batting lineup. There will be free defensive substitutions throughout the entire game, regardless of whether a player is in the batting lineup. Any player on the roster may assume any defensive position in the field at any time throughout the game with one exception: a player removed from the pitcher position may not return to pitch later in the same game.


Batting Lineup
Teams may bat anywhere from nine to the entire roster. The head coach must determine his batting lineup prior to the game, and this decision must be communicated to the umpire and opposing coach/scorekeeper. Once the number of batters has been established (and locked at the conclusion of the pre-game plate meeting), that number must remain the same throughout the game.

Any player not in the starting batting lineup may bat or run for another player in the starting batting lineup. However once the substitution occurs, these two players are then locked into the same spot in the batting lineup and MAY NOT bat or run in any other spot. Either player may bat or run in this spot in the order for the duration of the game.

If no substitutes are available and a player is ejected from the game, an out will be recorded each time that spot in the line-up is scheduled to bat.

A team may play with eight players, but must start the game with nine. A team with only eight players must take an out each time the missing player is scheduled to bat. If an injury occurs to a player on a team batting more than nine players, and if the injury prevents the player from batting and no substitutes are available, his spot in the line-up going forward may be skipped without penalty. If he recovers, he may return to the line-up. If an injury occurs to a baserunner and no substitute is available, the last batted out may take his place on the bases.


Mound Visits
Coaches will be allowed one mound visit per pitcher per inning. A second mound visit per pitcher during an inning will require the removal of that pitcher.


Intentional Walk
An intentional base on balls may be given by the defensive team, requested by coach or catcher, without pitching to the batter or on any ball/strike count. The ball is declared dead before the umpire awards first base to the batter.


Rules last modified June 7, 2021