2017 Tournament Rules

For game play, we will follow ASA softball rules with the exception of any specific in-house rules stated here and/or the Welcome Packet.

20 Yard Dash
  1. One (1) player from each team will participate in the 20 Yard Dash.
  2. Each participant is timed running a distance of 20 Yards.
  3. Time is started on the player’s first movement and stopped at the completion of 20 Yards.
  4. If a player has a bad start, stumbles, or falls it will not result in a rerun.
  5. The top four times will advance to the finals where they will race each other in a 20 Yard sprint to determine a winner.
Admission

Admission to all of the Youth Softball Nationals games is included in the team entry fees. There will be NO GATE FEE for the event! We encourage family and friends to come to the complex to cheer on the athletes and show their support.

Age Requirement

Age, as of DECEMBER 31, 2016, is the determining factor for the team’s age division. Take the oldest player on your team, determine that players age as of DECEMBER 31, 2016, and that is the age division your team will be required to play in.

Around The Horn
    1. Eight (8) players from each team will participate in the Around The Horn competition.
    2. As the ball travels “around the horn” each base must be tagged or touched by any part of the player’s body, as in a force-out.
    3. Teams are timed on how quickly they can throw the ball “around the horn.” Best team time wins the competition.
    4. There will be backup balls placed at each base and outfield spot, in the case of overthrows. When a ball is overthrown to a position, then the player has the option of going after the overthrown ball or picking up one of the backup balls (with a three second penalty assessed).
    5. Teams will compete in reverse-order of the pool-play standings.
    6. Each team will receive two timed rounds. The best time from each team will be recorded. The best single time will determine a winner.
    7. If there is a tie, the average of both team’s times will determine the winner.
    8. The order will be as follows:
      • Catcher starts the time by throwing to third base. Timer starts after the throw is released from the catcher’s hand.
      • Third baseman receives the throw, touches his bag and proceeds to throw to second base.
      • Second baseman receives the throw, touches his bag and proceeds to throw to first base.
      • First baseman receives the throw, touches his bag and proceeds to throw back to the catcher.
      • The catcher receives the throw, touches home plate and proceeds to throw down to second base, with the shortstop covering the bag and receiving the throw.
      • The shortstop touches second base and then proceeds to throw to the right fielder.
      • The right fielder receives the throw, then touches the right field circle (area provided). The right fielder then proceeds to throw back to second base, with the shortstop covering the bag again.
      • The shortstop receives the throw, touches second base and then proceeds to throw to the center fielder.
      • The center fielder receives the throw, touches the center field circle (area provided) and then proceeds to throw to third base.
      • The third baseman receives the throw, touches his bag and proceeds to throw to the left fielder.
      • The left fielder receives the throw, touches the left field circle (area provided) and then proceeds to throw home to the catcher.
      • Once the catcher gathers or receives the ball, he must touch home to stop the timer.
Awards

A customized team award and individual awards will be presented to the championship and runner-up teams in each age division. In addition, customized awards will be presented to the skills competition winners.

Base Path and Mound Distances

The following dimensions will be used:

  • 12U = Mound 40′  |  Bases 60′
  • 14U = Mound 43′  |  Bases 60′
  • 16U = Mound 43′  |  Bases 60′
Batting Line-Up

Three Options for Coaches:
A) NINE – Nine can play any defensive position at any time without reporting to the umpire about a position change.  Those nine can not change batting order even if defensive changes occur as frequently as each inning.
B) EH – Bat ten (10) players and any nine (9) can play defense.  The EH can be placed anywhere in the batting order, while the other nine are the only ones playing defensive positions.
C) FLEX/DH – Ten (10) players are listed in the line-up, but only nine (9) bat.  The Designated Hitter (DH) can bat for any player that you designate prior to the start of the game.  That player is designated as the Flex and should be listed in the tenth spot on the line up card.  Any of the ten (10) players can play one of the nine defensive positions.

Birth Certificates

Coaches must carry all player’s birth certificates or proof of age on person at all times throughout the tournament.  If player’s age is disputed and valid proof of age cannot be produced, said player would be expelled from the tournament until proof is provided.

Catcher’s Pop Time
  1. One (1) player from each team will participate in the Catcher’s Pop Time.
  2. Each player will receive three throws in the Catcher’s Crouched Position from a person of their choice. Once the player receives the ball from behind home plate, they will then throw the ball to second base.
  3. Time is started when the ball touches the player’s glove in the Catcher’s Crouched Position and is stopped when the ball is received at second base.
  4. Any ball dropped by the catcher on the throw, or during their transfer, will not result in a redo. However, they can still complete that turn and throw the ball to second base.
  5. The top four times will advance to the finals where they will receive two throws each. The best single pop time from the finals will determine a winner.
Coaches Fungo
  1. One (1) coach from each team will participate in the Coaches Fungo.
  2. Each participant will get 5 swings: 2 to shortstop, 2 to second base, and 1 to centerfield.
  3. Each target hit at SS and 2B will count for 10 point each. There will be a target in CF and the coach closest to the target will be awarded 20 points. A missed target at SS or 2B will result in a score of 0.
  4. The coach with the highest point total will determine a winner. If there is a tie after all participants are completed, there will be a swing off between all tied participants aiming at the CF target. Each coach will hit one ball to the CF target; the coach closest to the target will be crowned the winner.
Coaches’ Meeting

There will be a mandatory coaches’ meeting approximately 15-20 minutes immediately following opening ceremonies on Friday night. This meeting must be attended by ALL registered coaches, including assistant coaches. The coaches’ meeting will address all tournament rules, activities, and all team and personal behavior expectations. There will be a sign-in sheet at the meeting that ALL registered coaches will be required to sign acknowledging their attendance. Coach passes will be distributed to each coach after this meeting and each pass can only be obtained by that specific coach.

Courtesy Runners

The team at bat may use a courtesy runner:
– for the pitcher and/or the catcher providing the pitcher or catcher bats for themselves and reaches base safely.
– the same courtesy runner may not run for both the pitcher and the catcher at any time during the game.

Players who are currently in the game or have participated in the game (in any playing capacity) are not eligible to serve as courtesy runners.  Exception: in injury situation with no available substitutes.

Once the courtesy runner is designated for that half-inning, the pitcher or catcher for whom they are running my not return to run while that courtesy runner is on base.  A courtesy runner cannot run for a courtesy runner.  Exception: in injury situation with no available substitutes.

Dress Code for Coaches

Managers and coaches are not required to be in uniform during the games. However, we do expect the adults on the field to be dressed appropriately. All registered coaches will receive a coaches pass during the mandatory coaches meeting on opening night. Coaches MUST be wearing their pass in the dugout at all times. Nationals tournament staff reserve the right to make an on-site pass inspection at any time. Those found to be abusing their pass are subject to expulsion from the facility.

Dugout Access and Assignment

ONLY registered coaches and players are allowed on the field and inside the dugouts. Teams are NOT permitted to have a bat-boy/bat-girl at any time. Registered coaches are required to be wearing their Nationals coach pass at all times in order to be allowed on the field of play and inside the dugouts.

In pool play, the first team listed in the match-up will occupy third base dugout, unless engaged in back to back games.
In elimination play, the higher seed team will occupy the first base dugout; the lower seed team will occupy the third base dugout.

Ejections

Any coach or player ejected from a game will be required to leave the field.  Any coach or player ejected for the second time, will be required to sit out the next game. Any coach or player ejected for the the third time, will be removed from the event.

Elimination Game Suspended Rules

2.1  In the event of rain after a game has started, a 7 inning game will be considered complete if 5 innings have been played, unless the home team is ahead after 4 1/2 innings. A (10u) 6 inning game will be considered complete after 4 unless the home team is ahead after 3 1/2 innings. In this case, that game shall also be considered official.  If the minimum number of innings have not been played to consider a game official, then the game will be considered suspended and will be resumed (if possible) from the point of suspension at the earliest time available.

2.2  If the schedule does not permit for the game to be resumed at the point of suspension and there have not been enough innings played to consider the game official, then the higher seed shall advance regardless of the score at the point of suspension.   If the game is tied at the point of suspension, and the schedule does not permit for the game to be resumed, the higher seed shall advance.

2.3  If the championship game starts and is not able to complete, and has not reached enough innings for the game to be considered official, then the higher seed will be named champion regardless of score at the time of suspension.

Elimination Round Seeding Determination
The Youth Softball Nationals takes great pride in our attempts to create a field with team parity during the pool play portion of the tournament. We aspire to ensure that no team is completely out-matched competitively when taking the field during their pool play games. Although this is certainly not a perfect science and lopsided results will still occur occasionally, we make best efforts in this regard. We know that lopsided scores are not beneficial to either team and do not play in to a “great” experience for those involved. For this reason, we collect data and ask for team classification when participants register for our event.

Due to the fact that team classification is considered when scheduling the pool play match-ups it is possible for some teams to have a more difficult or easier schedule than others. Therefore, one of the unique factors in seeding determination at the Nationals is a strength of schedule (SOS) factor that plays into the overall seeding of teams for the single-elimination tournament rounds.  This SOS factor is based on the make-up of the A, B, C, classified teams your team is scheduled to play against during pool play.

In determining seeding, “achievement points” (based on your team’s won/loss performance) will also be added to SOS factor to determine the final seeding.  Seeding for the tournament will be posted as early as possible after the completion of all pool play games.

First Aid

The Nationals has a medical team that will be onsite for the duration of the event. It is important to remember that our medical team are not medical doctors. They will provide basic first aid, determine the severity of injuries and make recommendations as to whether or not a player should see a doctor or go to an emergency room. The staff are certified athletic trainers.

Game Times

All games will be played under a one (1) hour and thirty (30) minute game time, with the exception of Championship games.  Championship games will not have a game time limit, but run rules will still be in effect.  Game time starts at plate umpire’s announcement.

Game Warm-Ups

No warm-ups on the infields. All pre-game warm-ups will need to be made in the outfield grass. No soft-tossing into fences.

Home/Away Designation

In pool play, a coin flip will determine HOME team.
In elimination play, the higher seeded team will be the HOME team.

Home/Visitor Determination

Home/visitor for pool play will be determined by a coin flip before the game.

Lightning Policy

If lightning is visible, and is determined to be within a 6 mile radius of the park, the game shall be suspended until it is determined that the lightning has moved a safe distance away.  This determination will be made by the medical staff and tournament directors utilizing technology and instruments that measure lightning distance. We may ask that all participants and fans leave the park facilities if it is deemed the lightning is too close. All communications concerning lightning will be relayed via our text messaging service so make sure you have registered your mobile phone for this service!

Parental Waivers

The parent or legal guardian of every rostered player will need to complete and sign the Parental Waiver and Release of Liability form located on the Online Team Check-In page.  Once this form has been completed and signed by ALL the parents of rostered players, it needs to be uploaded by APRIL 15, 2017.

Parking

Parking is FREE and available at designated areas.  Be prepared to arrive early should you need to walk from parking lot to baseball field. Limited shuttle service will be available, but we cannot guarantee that the shuttle will be available for your party when you arrive at the park. We are not responsible for any damaged vehicles, theft or loss of property.

Player Minimum

A team can start with just 8 players ONLY if all other rostered players are injured, sick or otherwise incapacitated. That team will be allowed to bat only 8 with no penalty. If the number of players dips below 8, then an automatic out shall be recorded for those spots in the lineup less than 8.

Pool Play Suspended Game Policy

1.1  In the event of rain after a game has started, a 7 inning game will be considered complete if 5 innings have been played, unless the home team is ahead after 4 1/2 innings respectively. A (10u) 6 inning game will be considered complete if 4 innings have been played unless the home team is ahead after 3 1/2 innings. In this case, that game shall also be considered official.  If the minimum number of innings have not been played to consider a game official, then the game will be considered suspended and will be resumed (if possible) from the point of suspension.

1.2  If the schedule does not permit for the game to be resumed (at the point of suspension), then that game will be considered cancelled.  Cancelled pool play games will not be rescheduled.

1.3  If a game is suspended, but enough innings have been played to consider the game official, and the game is tied at the point of suspension, then that game will stand as a tie.

Practices

There are no designated practice areas at Grand Park. However, teams are welcome to utilize any of the open areas at their discretion. There are batting cages available on-site at the complex. The batting cages should ONLY be used by teams yet to play their scheduled game for that day. If your team has completed all of their scheduled games for the day, then we ask that you refrain from using the cages for the remainder of that day to allow for other teams to prepare for their games.

Protests

There are no protests allowed. Coaches have the right, at any time, to call a Director to a field for a rules interpretation (Director Call). This does not include JUDGMENT CALLS made by the umpires. This action is to be taken in lieu of protests. In order to properly handle each Director Call, play must be stopped and the Director must be called BEFORE the next pitch. If the disputed call involves the last play of the game, the protesting team must appeal before the umpires leave the confines of the field.

Queen of Swat
  1. One (1) player from each team will participate in the Queen of Swat.
  2. The player will receive pitches from the person of their choice.
  3. Each player will receive a one minute timed round to hit as many HR’s as they can. Time starts when the first pitch is thrown. Any pitches thrown after the time expires will be nullified.
  4. The next pitch cannot be thrown until the previous batted ball either hits the ground or clears the fence.
  5. The top four homerun totals from Round 1 will advance to the Championship round. A player must hit a homerun to advance to the Championship Round.
  6. Each player in the Championship Round will receive 45 seconds to hit as many HR’s as they can. Time starts when the first pitch is thrown. Any pitches thrown after the time expires will be nullified.
Run / Mercy Rules

A run / mercy rule will be enforced for all games, including both pool play and elimination round games.  The run rule shall be 15 runs after 3 innings, 12 after 4 innings, or 8 after 5 innings.  If the home team is behind at the point of the defined run rule, they will still get their last at-bat.  If the home team is ahead by the run rule, they will not bat in the bottom half of that respective inning.  For example, if the home team is already ahead by 12 runs after 3 1/2 innings, they will not bat in the bottom half of the 4th inning and the game will be official.

Softballs, Equipment and Uniforms

Game balls will be provided for all games.  Teams are to bring their own practice balls and any other necessary equipment (i.e. catcher’s gear, bats, gloves, etc.).  Uniforms are NOT provided at the Nationals. Teams are to provide their own uniforms.  Each player on a team should have a unique number displayed on their jersey. All other softball and safety equipment are the responsibility of each team.

Substitutions

Starters may re-enter in the same offensive spot once. Substitutes cannot re-enter the game once they have been removed.

Team Agreement

All coaches, both head coaches and assistant coaches, will be required to sign the Coaches Code of Conduct.  This form is located on the Online Team Check-In page.  Once the form is completed, it will need to be uploaded NO LATER than MAY 15, 2017.

Team Banners

During opening ceremonies and the parade of teams, you will want for your team to be led onto the field holding a team banner.  We suggest a 3′ x 5′ banner size.

Team Insurance

Each team is required to carry its own general liability and accident medical insurance with minimum general liability of $2,000,000 and minimum accident medical of $100,000. These amounts are the standard threshold of insurance offered through organizations such as USSSA, NSA, etc so it’s likely you already have this coverage in place for your team. Each team will be required to submit a certificate of insurance to our softball operations staff as soon as possible. The certificate must have Youth Nationals LLC listed as additionally insured in the following format:

YOUTH NATIONALS, LLC
11221 Plantside Dr
Louisville, KY 40299

Once you have the certificate prepared by your insurance carrier, your certificate should be uploaded to our softball operations center through the Online Team Check-In page of the SoftballNationals.com website.

Team Photo & Logo

We require each team to send us a team photo and logo for the Youth Softball Nationals Media Guide and tournament Game Day website. Please submit your team’s photo and logo, by APRIL 15, 2017 by uploading these items through the Online Team Check-In.

Team Rosters

The Nationals official team rosters are to be completed on the provided official roster (Microsoft Excel) document that can be downloaded at the Online Team Check-In.  Each roster will need to be completed, saved and then uploaded NO LATER than APRIL 15, 2017.

Time Limit, Ties and Tie Breakers

No new inning may start after the time limit expires.  The standard time limit for all age groups is ninety (90) minutes.  This applies for pool and elimination play.

POOL PLAY: If at the end of seven (7) innings and the game is tied, the game will end in a tie and the appropriate achievement points will be awarded.  If time expires during the game, the inning in progress will be completed and the game is over.  If the home team is ahead and up to bat when time expires, the game is over and the inning will not be finished.

ELIMINATION PLAY: No games will end in a tie, must play until winner is determined.

CHAMPIONSHIP GAME: There is no time limit.

Velo Across The Diamond
  1. A minimum of one (1) and maximum of four (4) participants from each team will participate in the Velo Across the Diamond. If a team has more than one (1) participant, only the player with the highest MPH Velo will result in points scored for their team.
  2. Each participant will get 3 attempts to field a groundball rolled to them, by a person of their choice, and throw it to a target at first base.
  3. Every throw will have an “Exit Velocity” in Miles Per Hour (MPH). The throw must hit the target in order for it to count.
  4. Any ball dropped by the player on the throw, or during their transfer will not result in a redo. However, they can still complete that turn and throw the ball to the target.
  5. The player with the single highest MPH Velo will determine a winner. If there is a tie after all participants, an additional round(s) will continue with 2 throws each until a winner is determined.
Weather Procedures / Priorities
In the event of rain we will do everything within our power to stay as close to the game schedule as possible. However, we may have to deviate from the original schedule. If we need to alter the schedule, we use the following procedures/priorities :
1. Our first priority is always to make sure each team plays it’s minimum number of scheduled games. Should weather push back the start of games we will push back those start times well into the night if necessary. Most days the original schedule calls for the latest games of the day to start at 5pm.  However, we will start games as late as 11pm if necessary. Please be prepared to play late into the night should rain push back the start of games for that day. If we have to play late into the night and even the early morning hours to get games in, we will!
2. We will always attempt to have a championship game.
— 2.1. We may need to cancel activities scheduled earlier in the day on Championship Thursday if impending weather dictates that we play the championship games earlier to get them in.
— 2.2. We may need to eliminate the semi-final or quarter-final games to ensure a championship game will be played. In this instance, we will select the top two seeds based on the standard seeding rules and those top two seeds will play for the championship.
3. We utilize a text messaging service, to notify team contacts about schedule changes and weather updates.  Join this text messaging list to be notified whenever schedule changes are made.
4. We will post schedule changes, alerts and updates on the Game Day section of our website.
Weather Related Refund Policy

No games played:  100% credit for 2018 Nationals
1 game played:  30% credit for 2018 Nationals
2 games played:  15% credit for 2018 Nationals
3 or more games played:  No credit

The Nationals. Register now. Spots are extremely limited and will fill up fast!