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Tournament Book


2015 Virginia Slow Pitch State Rules
Updated: January 22, 2015

1. All USSSA official playing rules will be used.

2. Entry Fees MUST be paid prior to a team's first game in a tournament. MONEY ORDER, CASH, OR CERTIFIED CHECK ONLY! (Unless approved by the tournament director) NOTE: Entry fee may change if tournament format changes.

3. Rosters MUST be entered online at, printed off and brought to the tournament and turned in before the first game. For the 2015 season, teams MUST have their roster online prior to an event. Prior to July 1st, teams will have 5 days prior to the start of the event to put their roster online. If roster is not online in this time period, to retroactive points will be awarded. Beginning on July 1st, teams will not receive points unless their roster is online prior to the start of the event. Virginia USSSA can enter your roster for you for a $25.00 fee. Rosters MUST be online to play in the State Tournament or to receive a berth to a World Tournament! (Virginia USSSA will help any team needing help getting their roster online, all that is needed is first name, last name and date of birth of all players. Driver License and Social Security numbers are no longer needed!)

4. No protest will be allowed on umpire judgment calls.

5. PROTESTS: Any protest regarding application or interpretation of either official printed playing rules or ground rules or adopted ground rules must come from team manager or coach. All players participating in adult USSSA tournament play shall have a photo ID available, failure to do so results in Rule 4, section 11-A 4-5 being applied. The offending team loses the game, is ejected from the tournament and forfeits all awards and berths. EXCEPTION: If the loss incurred by the offending team was its first loss of the tournament and if the player(s) in question can subsequently furnish a valid photo ID prior to their next scheduled game, the offending may remain in the tournament.

6. Home team will be determined by coin toss, unless tournament is an equalizer format, in that case the team spotting runs will be the home team.

7. When no official scorekeeper is present, the home team will furnish the official scorekeeper.

8. Players found ineligible WILL be suspended by the State Director. Managers could also be suspended. If the ineligible player is discovered during the game, the offending team loses the game, is ejected from the tournament, placed last in the standings, and forfeits all awards, sponsor travel money and berths that would have been awarded at that tournament. If the ineligible player is discovered after the completion of the game (but during the tournament), the game shall stand as played. However, the offending team is ejected from the tournament and assumes the same penalties as above.

9. When a team qualifies for a state, national or world tournament, the roster turned in for that tournament becomes frozen immediately. Each team will receive an official copy of the roster at this time. NOTE: (It is the MANAGER'S responsibility to sign the roster or the roster is assumed correct.) No changes or additions are allowed except:
Up to three players can be added provided there is room on the roster.
Up to three players can be released but these spots cannot be used for add-ons.
Any player released from a team cannot return to that team during the current season.
A player may be released from only one qualified roster per season.
No more than twenty players are allowed on a roster.
On frozen rosters, all releases shall be in writing to the State Director before release is in effect.
No releases after 1 August EXCEPT: See Article III, Section 5 of the USSSA Slow Pitch National By-Laws of the USSSA Rule Book.

10. SOFTBALLS: Teams will hit their own ball during Virginia USSSA weekend tournament play.

All 12 inch MEN'S softballs must be stamped Classic M (.40 COR/325 compression) or Classic Plus (.52 COR/375 compression) and be USSSA stamped.

All 11 inch WOMEN'S softballs must be stamped Classic W (.44 COR/400 comp) and be USSSA stamped.

Each team must start the game with a new softball. Worth is the official softball of Virginia USSSA Slow Pitch. Softballs may be changed in and out of the game when fouled out of play, or between innings, or at umpire's discretion. Umpires will control changing in and out the softball during the game. IN THE MIXED PROGRAM THE 12 INCH SOFTBALL MUST BE STAMPED CLASSIC M (.40 core/325).

11. BATS: Begininning January 1, 2013, bats will be legal for sanctioned USSSA play if the bat is manufactured by an approved USSSA bat manufacturer on the approved USSSA bat manufacturer list and has the NEW USSSA mark/logo (THUMB PRINT DESIGN) on the taper of the bat. See design below.

12. The 3 ball/2 strike count will be used in all programs except the youth. Youth will use 4 ball/3 strike count.

NEW FOR 2014:
There is no courtesy foul after first strike. Batter is out, when batter hits ball foul after first strike. Ball is dead if this occurs. See USSSA Rulebook, page 37, section 2, paragraph D.

13. Teams that do not show up for tournaments once entered will be required to pay the entry fee for that particular tournament before they will be allowed to play in another Virginia USSSA tournament. Teams will be considered in a tournament once they receive their game time.

14. BAD CHECKS: Anyone submitting a bad check will be suspended until the matter is taken care of. Each member of the team will be individually liable for an equal portion of the debt and will be suspended until the debt is paid in full. A $30.00 bad check charge will be applied to all bad checks.

15. TEAM REGISTRATION: A $25.00 sanction fee must be paid prior to playing in the first tournament of each adult program. Each team will be assigned a 9 digit ID number, by entering your roster online, each team will always have their ID number. Teams may register online at for a fee of $25.00. Teams must register for each program they participate. To enter roster online, you will need FIRST NAME, LAST NAME, STATE and BIRTHDATE of each player on roster.

NOTE: Teams must register in Virginia before playing out of state, teams must also register in the different programs they play, (example, Men's D team that also plays Corporate or Black American must re-register in that program to receive their proper points.

16. HOME RUN RULES: (Virginia USSSA Rule Only)
NOTE: National Homerun Rule will apply for all NITs, National & State Tournaments
All homeruns will be walk offs in ALL tournaments.
Men's A
Penalty for excessive homeruns is an OUT.
Men's B
Penalty for excessive homeruns is an OUT.
Men's C
Penalty for excessive homeruns is an OUT.
Men's D
Penalty for excessive homeruns is an OUT.
Men's E & Rec
In the Men's Class E Program, any batter who hits an untouched fair fly ball over the fence in fair territory will be declared OUT and will be an end of inning out. Each subsequent time that position in the lineup is due to bat, the batter shall automatically be declared OUT. The player shall remain in the game for defensive purposes only. This applies to any substitute in that batting position.

17. PROFANITY RULE: Any team using profanity MAY cause their team to receive one warning, warnings are a courtesy, and players CAN be ejected without a warning. The third player ejected will cause the game to be a forfeit. Any team member after being ejected, who continues to use profanity will be ejected from the tournament, further abusive language could lead to suspension from future USSSA sanctioned events. When a player, coach, or anyone affiliated with a team is ejected, that individual has 60 seconds to be out of SIGHT and SOUND or the team risks forfeiture of the game. NOTE: Use of profane or abusive language or taunting WILL NOT be tolerated.

NEW FOR 2014: EJECTIONS (State Rule): Any player, manager or fan ejected from a ball game, must sit one additional game. No exceptions. Person(s) ejected cannot be in the dugouts or in the stands and must go to the parking lot to serve ejection. Person(s) refusing to comply with this rule may be suspended for the tournament and/or the season.

18. Any player, coach or other team member physically abusing an Umpire or Tournament/League official will be suspended immediately.

19. It is the MANAGER/COACH'S responsibility to read the bracket board and to know his/her teams next game time and location.


Men's and Women's Open Program: (Virginia USSSA Rule Only) This rule is in effect for ALL games, including championship finals. NOTE: National Run Rule will apply for all NITs, National & State Tournaments
20 runs after 2 1/2 or 3 innings
15 runs after 3 1/2 or 4 innings
10 runs after 4 1/2 or 5 innings
NOTE: Flip Flop rule will be in effect in the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th innings

21. FLIP/FLOP RULE--ALL PROGRAMS: In the inning when the Run Rule for that particular program is exceeded (after the second inning) and the home team is losing, the home team will remain at bat and become the visiting team. If the team (new visiting team) does not score enough runs to reduce the run difference below the Run Rule the game is over. If they reduce the run difference to below the Run Rule, then the new home team will bat. If they subsequently score enough runs to exceed the Run Rule the game will be over, if they do not, the game will continue under that format. If the situation reverses, the teams would flip/flop again.

22. COURTESY RUNNER (Virginia USSSA Rule Only): One courtesy runner is allowed per team per inning. The courtesy runner used shall be at the manager's discreation. NOTE: No courtesy runner will be used in all NITs, National & State Tournaments.

23. TIME LIMITS: In all adult tournaments, there will be no new inning after 60 minutes except for the winner's and loser's bracket final, the championship and the if game. This rule applies to all tournaments except all NITs, National and State tournaments.

24. NUMBER OF PLAYERS: In all adult programs a minimum of 9 players can start a game. (In the Mixed program it must be 5 female, 4 male) These players MUST be present at the field. First game for all teams in any tournament, there will be a 15 minute grace period. The tenth spot in the lineup must be listed, an out is recorded each time that spot comes up, batters may be walked to reach that spot. The tenth player can be added any time before the end of the game. A team that starts with 9 or 10 players may never add the 11th or 12 th player. Any team that starts with 10, 11 or 12 players may drop to a minimum of 9 players to finish a game; however, all vacant spots in the lineup will be declared an out.

25. Effective July 1st, 2015, ALL ROSTERS WILL BE LOCKED by the State Director, that have not already been frozen or locked. Any team being reclassified to a lower class will have their roster frozen at that time. Classification appeals must be made in writing to the State Director.

26. ROSTERS/FROZEN ROSTERS: When a team qualifies for a State, National, or World Berth their roster becomes frozen, whether the team accepts the berth or not. Players are bound to this roster unless released with the proper release form, players moving up a class still must get the proper release form. All rosters must be initialed or signed by the team manager for all NITs, STATE and NATIONAL tournaments.

RELEASES: A team manager may release up to 3 players from their frozen roster. Releases must be made prior to August 20, on a proper Add On/Release form. A released player cannot be replaced on the roster. Any player released may not return to that team during the year. A player may be released from only one qualified roster during the season.

FROZEN ROSTER ADD-ON'S: A qualified team has 72 hours prior to any State, Divisional, National or World Tournament to add as many as 3 players, provided that team has available spots on the roster to add any player. Players must meet the following requirements: 1. Players cannot be on another team's qualified roster. 2. Players who are added may NOT have played for a team of a higher classification (any exceptions must have State Director approval). 3. All roster additions must be approved by the State Director, or in his absence the Division Executive Vice President.

YOUTH WAIVER/RELEASE OF LIABILITY: Any player under the age of 18 must have a YOUTH WAIVER/RELEASE OF LIABILITY signed by a parent or legal guardian before they can play in a Virginia USSSA softball tournament.

27. PAID STATE BERTHS: In the Men's C, D, and E programs, the team with the most USSSA points as of August 1, 2015 in each division will be awarded a PAID entry into the respective State Tournament.

28. STATE TOURNAMENTS: All teams earning a berth to a National or World Tournament are REQUIRED to play in their respective program's State Tournament, provided one is held. Teams earning a World Berth must play in their State Tournament and their Division's National Tournament or forfeit their berth. (Teams must play in at least 2 USSSA tournaments to be eligible to play in the State tournament, unless approved by the State Director or have won an NIT with a World Berth, with which the requirement is to play in the State and National Tournaments to keep the World Berth.)

Eastern and Western sub-states are optional. Any team that has not qualified for a division or national can qualify by playing in these tournaments.

29. NATIONAL TOURNAMENTS: Teams MUST participate in their respective National tournament to be eligible for the WORLD tournament.

30. WORLD TOURNAMENTS: To become eligible or qualified for the World tournament, teams must have met one of the following:


Win an NIT Must have won or received a unpaid or paid WORLD berth from an National Invitational Tournament (NIT).
National At Large Berth Must have earned at least 1000 points in the season.  Berth will be unpaid. Click here for information on National At Large Berths.
State At Large Berth Must have played in 6 USSSA tournament (1 must be an NIT and 1 must be the state tournament) and received at least 200 points.  Berth will be unpaid. Click here for information on State At Large Berths.
Win a State Tournament Must have won or received a unpaid WORLD berth from a State tournament.
Win a National Must have won or received a paid WORLD berth from a National tournament.

31. PROCEDURE FOR TOURNAMENT PAIRINGS: Game times, pairings and tournament formats are at the tournament director's discretion. In the event of inclement weather, the tournament format may be changed. Example: Eliminate loser's bracket, one pitch, etc.

32. ROUND ROBIN TOURNAMENTS: All teams whenever possible will be guaranteed four games. Forfeits and/or byes count as games.

33. HIGH/LOW TOURNAMENTS: This tournament format carry a three game guarantee and are very popular. Teams are seeded in the first round with winners remaining in the upper bracket and all losers dropping into the lower bracket. Both brackets then play a double elimination schedule with a winner in each bracket. Top two teams in each bracket receive state berths in their respective classification. All byes count as games played.

34. "EQUALIZER" TOURNAMENT RULES: All teams play in one division. Lower classified teams will be awarded a four (4) run "equalizer" per classification change. Example: Class B vs Class D. The D team will be awarded 8 runs. Home Run rule of HIGHER classified team will be used. The higher classified team will be home team.




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