Playing Rules

Playing Rules

Official Rules will be USSSA with the following exceptions (for PONY teams, the only significant differences between USSSA and PONY are covered in the exceptions):

BAT RESTRICTIONS:

  • All bats must be unaltered baseball bat commercially manufactured for baseball play with a BPF of 1.15OR a BBCOR of .50 dependent on barrel, OR be a USABaseball stamped bat
  • 6U & 8U may use a 2 ¼” barrel bat, or a 2 5/8” barrel bat 
  • 9U and up may use a 2 ¼” barrel bat, or 2 5/8” or 2 ¾” barrel bat
  • If an umpire notes an illegal bat prior to use, a warning will be issued to the coach and the bat will be removed from play.
  • If an umpire notes an illegal bat after it’s use, the batter will be out and no runners will advance.
  • If a 2nd offense occurs, the coach will be ejected

Rules General to all Divisions

  • Teams will bat their entire roster present at each game.
  • A courtesy runner may be used for the catcher and pitcher at any time, and is mandatory for the catcher with 2 outs. The courtesy runner will be the last batted out.
  • Players removed from a game due to injury cannot be re-inserted, however no automatic outs will be recorded for their at-bats unless the order drops below 10 in 6U or 8U, or 9 in 10U through 14U.
  • A thrown bat is an automatic out at all levels of play, there will be no warning.
  • The run rule will be 15 after 3, 10 after 4.
  • For the purposes of advancement in the event of inclement weather, a game will be considered complete at 3 innings or at 2 1/2 innings with the home team ahead.
  • Game lengths: 6U - 1 hour, 8U - 1:15 hours, 10U, 12U & 14U - 1:30 hours. No new inning will begin after that time, however the current inning will complete.
  • Coaches, other than offensive bases coaches, may be restricted to the dugout at the discretion of the umpire.
  • Umpires will have latitude in keeping games moving in a timely fashion by, for example, limiting warm-up pitches or imposing time limits on gearing up catchers.
  • In 6U - 12U, due to bracket play, all games must have a winner to advance. Ties will go extra inning with last batter of previous half inning on 2nd with no outs.  Should 1 extra inning be insufficient, a 2nd extra inning will play, however if this does not result in a win then the tournament director will be called and the game will revert to coin toss.
  • In 14U, due to pool play, games can tie, tie breakers for the purpose of seeding final games will be win %, head to head, runs against then run differential.

 

6U Rules

  • Each team must have a minimum of 8 players to start a game. The 9th and 10th spots in the batting order will be automatic outs. If a team has 9 players to start a game, the 10th spot in the batting order will be an automatic out. Any players arriving late must be added to the end of the batting order.
  • A maximum of four outfielders can be used.
  • The umpire will adjust the tee height and remove the tee from the plate during plays. Coaches may verbally instruct the batter for position but cannot touch or assist the player in any other way.
  • The tee will be provided by OHYSA.
  • The batter may have 3 swings to put the ball into play. A foul ball or foul tip on the 3rd swing will NOT be an out.
  • “Measuring up” to the tee will be considered a strike.
  • A runner leaving the base too soon in the umpire’s judgment is automatically out.
  • Head first slides into any bag will be illegal. The runner will be declared out.
  • Ball is dead when returned to the infield and, in the umpire’s judgment, play has stopped. The defense must stop the lead runner. “Baiting” by runners to induce a throw from the infielder is not permitted.
  • The umpire will determine the position of the runners when the ball becomes dead.
  • A team is restricted to scoring 5 runs per at bat.

 

8U Rules

  • Each team must have a minimum of 8 players to start a game. The 9th and 10th spots in the batting order will be automatic outs. If a team has 9 players to start a game, the 10th spot in the batting order will be an automatic out. Any players arriving late must be added to the end of the batting order.
  • A maximum of four outfielders can be used.
  • The batter may have 5 pitches to put the ball into play. The batter is out on 3 swinging strikes. A foul or foul tip on the 3rd swinging strike, with pitches remaining, is not an out. A foul or foul tip on the 5th pitch will NOT be an out. 
  • A runner leaving the base too soon in the umpire’s judgment is automatically out.
  • Head first slides into any bag will be illegal. The runner will be declared out.
  • Ball is dead when returned to the infield and, in the umpire’s judgment, play has stopped. The defense must stop the lead runner. “Baiting” by runners to induce a throw from the infielder is not permitted.
  • The umpire will determine the position of the runners when the ball becomes dead.
  • A team is restricted to scoring 5 runs per at bat.
  • The pitching coach may not communicate with the batter.

 

10U, 12U & 14U Rules

  • Each team must have a minimum of 8 players to start a game. The 9th spot in the batting order will be an automatic out. Any players arriving late must be added to the end of the batting order.
  • Suicide squeeze plays, and outright stealing of home on a pitch without pause or break before the ball crosses home plate, will be illegal. The runner will be declared out. A safety squeeze or delayed steal is a legal play.
  • Balks will be enforced.
  • Head first slides into any bag will be illegal. The runner will be declared out. A dive back to the base on a pick-off move or throw down is allowed.
  • Slash bunting will be illegal.
  • When a play at the plate is evident, the runner should make every attempt to avoid a collision with the catcher or fielder. Failure to slide is not an automatic out. The runner will be declared safe or out by the umpire based on the play. However, if in the umpire’s opinion the runner exhibited malicious intent, then the runner will be called out and may further be ejected from the game at the umpire’s discretion.

 

A WORD ABOUT PITCHING

OHYSA adheres to the guidelines of the MLB and USA Baseball published at pitchsmart.org for pitch counts and rest periods for youth pitchers. For the sake of the health of your youth pitchers we expect that your team adhere to these guidelines or similar guidelines used by your specific organization during the regular season.

For the purposes of this tournament, we are not monitoring, collecting, reporting or publishing pitch counts. We trust that as the adult, no coach would intentionally endanger the health of a player by pitching them beyond their individual capacity or ability regardless of game outcome, or player or parent insistence that they “can go another inning." 

Should, in the tournament director or officiating umpire’s opinion, a player be pitched beyond a reasonable and safe count, the player may be pulled from the mound. Please make sure you keep basic pitch counts for all your pitchers for review in the event this occurs.

You are ultimately responsible for your pitching rotation. Be wise in how you approach it for the longevity of your season and the arms of your pitchers. This is a WARM UP TOURNAMENT - take this opportunity to test the abilities of your bullpen. No trophy, medal or ring is worth injury to an emerging pitcher's arm.