Billie Sue 2023 Rules & Guidelines
Updated June 1, 2023
1. USA Softball Rules: All games will be governed by the current year official USA Softball Fastpitch Rules, except as modified by BGS local tournament rules as stated herein.
2. USA Softball Registration: All teams must be registered with USA Softball and be a Class ‘B’ or Class ‘C’ team, as defined by the current Pacific Coast Region JO Handbook.
3. Check-in: Submission payment, roster and proof team insurance constitutes ‘check-in’. Teams without rosters and insurance submitted will not be allowed to play. Rosters and insurance should be a standard item in every team’s binder.
4. Proof of Age: Proof of age is required. The burden of proof lies with the manager if challenged by official protest. We recommend teams carry proof of age to all games.
5. Game Time: Game time is forfeit time. In rain situations, please do not leave the fields as the schedule may be adjusted without prior notice. Should the prior game end early, games may start up to 15 minutes prior to the scheduled start time. So please arrive early and be ready to play once the field is prepared.
6. Time Limits: No new inning will start after the time limit from the first warm up pitch of the game. Game time is kept by umpires on the field. A new inning starts with the third out of the previous inning. Umpires will keep the games moving so please cooperate & keep the players moving. Pool play games may end in a tie.
7. Run Rules: The game will end if one team leads by 12 or more runs after 3 innings, 10 or more runs after 4 innings, or 8 or more runs after 5 innings for all games.
8. Tie Breaker Rule (Applies only to Bracket Play and not to Pool Play): At the time or inning limit, the next inning and subsequent innings start with a runner (player due to be last at bat in the inning) at 2nd base.
9. Pool Play Points: Winners of each Pool Play game will receive 3 points. Losers of each Pool Play game will receive 0 points. If the game is tied at the end of the time or inning limit, each team will receive 1 point. No tie breaker or extra innings will be played in Pool Play. A forfeit is a 7-0 win and the forfeiting team will receive minus 1 point. Forfeit scores will not be thrown out for purposes of seeding when a team has 4 pool games.
10. Bracket Play: Bracket Play seeding will be based upon (in order): (a) Total Pool Play Points (Win = 3 points, Tie = 1 point, Loss = 0 points, Forfeit = -1 point), (b) Total # of wins, (c) Head-to-Head Play, (d) Fewest Runs Allowed, (e) Most Runs Scored, and (f) Flip of a coin. Games will only count if complete.
11. Extra Pool Game: If a last-minute cancellation causes a division to have an odd number of teams, at least one team (and possibly more, to minimize schedule disruption) will play 4 pool games instead of 3. After a team plays a 4th pool game, the coach or manager of that team will meet with the Tournament Director or Field Coordinator to choose which of their 4 games will be discarded for determining seeding.
12. Complete Pool Play Game: A game is complete if 4 ½ innings (if the home team is ahead) or more are played or if time has expired. If the game is postponed before completion, the game will resume at that point of interruption and as soon as possible. Otherwise, if it can’t be completed, it constitutes a complete game at the point of the last full inning completed.
13. Home Team: Teams listed first on the schedule for each game will occupy the 3rd base dugout (unless occupied by the opponent, having just completed a game on the same field). Home team will be determined by a coin toss prior to the start of each game for pool play. Higher seed is the home team for bracket play.
14. Line-up: Each manager must submit a line-up card to the Umpire and opposing team 10 minutes prior to the start of the game. Line-up cards will include player’s first and last names and uniform number.
15. Player Limits: A team consists of 9 players however a team may start and finish a game with 8 players. If a team begins the game with 8 players, an automatic out is recorded in the 9th spot in the batting order. If a player arrives late they must enter the lineup in the last spot. If a team begins a game with 9 or 10 players and a player leaves the game and there is no available substitute there is an automatic out in that spot in the lineup.
Exceptions to the Player Limits are noted below by age level:
a. A team may elect to field 10 players (4 outfielders).
b. Everyone on the lineup card is eligible to bat and free defensive substitutions are allowed for all games. Only substitutes in the batting order need to be reported to the umpire and opposing team and normal player replacement rules apply (i.e. a starter can come out and return to the batting order once). Players not on the starting lineup card for a game may sit in the dugout and not play at all. Alternatively, players not on the starting lineup card can be used as a substitute during that game (sub in and out), but the number of batters cannot change (e.g. if you elect to bat 13 at the start of the game, you have to bat 13 spots the entire game). Note: The intent behind this rule is to help coaches of teams with larger rosters (13 or more players) manage their roster more effectively and allow players who are not on the starting lineup card to be subbed in and be part of the team experience.
10B & 10C:
a. In the 10C division, a team can field 10 defensive players (4 outfielders).
b. In the 10B division, a team can field 9 defensive players (3 outfielders).
c. Continuous batting and free defensive substitutions are permitted throughout the tournament. Defensive substitutions involving players in the line-up (i.e. players batting/non-substitutes) do not need to be reported to the umpire. Substitutes entering the game on defense or the batting order need to be reported as Substitute to the umpire and opposing team and normal player replacement rules apply (i.e. a starter can come out and return to the batting order once).
d. Courtesy runners are allowed for pitchers and catchers only and can be any player from the bench or line-up. If a courtesy runner from the line-up is used and their spot in the batting order comes up while they are on base, the runner will be declared out in order to make them available to hit. The courtesy runner shall be for the pitcher or catcher of record. If the team intends to change the pitcher or catcher in the following inning and notifies the umpire as such, then a courtesy runner may be used for that player. The player, however, must pitch/catch the following inning as communicated to the umpire. This will help speed the game up and should not be abused.
e. Teams may use the DP/Flex rule throughout the tournament in the 10B and 10C divisions. DP/Flex can be used in combination with continuous batting.
12C, 12B & 16/18Open:
a. A team can only field 9 defensive players throughout the tournament.
b. Continuous batting and free defensive substitutions are permitted throughout the tournament. Defensive substitutions involving players in the line-up (i.e. players batting/non-substitutes) do not need to be reported to the umpire. Substitutes entering the game on defense or the batting order need to be reported as a Substitute to the umpire and opposing team and normal player replacement rules apply (i.e. a starter can come out and return to the batting order once).
c. Courtesy runners are allowed for pitchers and catchers only and can be any player from the bench or line-up. If a courtesy runner from the line-up is used and their spot in the batting order comes up while they are on base, the runner will be declared out in order to make them available to hit. The courtesy runner shall be for the pitcher or catcher of record. If the team intends to change the pitcher or catcher in the following inning and notifies the umpire as such, then a courtesy runner may be used for that player. The player, however, MUST pitch/catch the following inning as communicated to the umpire. This will help speed the game up and should not be abused.
d. DP/Flex rule is in effect throughout the tournament in 12B, 12C & 16/18Open divisions. DP/Flex can be used in combination with continuous batting.
16. Equipment: Full catcher equipment to be worn (helmet, mask, shin guards, chest protector) by catcher. All batters, on deck batters and runners must wear helmets while on the field. All players must wear their official team uniforms with their shirts tucked in. Wearing of jewelry is prohibited unless it is religious or medical and then it must be taped down for safety. Metal spikes are prohibited for all divisions except 16/18Open.
17. Scorebook: The designated home team will be responsible for keeping the official scorebook for the game and for reporting the scores at the main desk at each field either in person or by texting the information to 650-479-HITS (4487). If you are unable to send a text, please call and leave a voice message. Please include game number, division, team names, and final score. Example: ‘Game 47, 10B Gotham City Bats 7, Springfield Homers 6.’
18. Protests: All protests must be lodged at the time of the incident. All protests or disputes regarding equipment, rules, or any other matter will be referred to one of the tournament directors, whose decision will be final.
19. Sportsmanship: Coaches are responsible for their players and parents conduct during a game. Any player, coach, or fan displaying unsportsmanlike behavior will subject themselves and/or their team to suspension from the game and/or forfeit of the game/tournament. Any parent or coach asked by the UIC, Tournament Director or Field Coordinator to leave the premises at any tournament venue must do so immediately.
20. No Glass Containers or Alcohol Allowed at the Tournament. In addition, GUM, FOOD, BEVERAGES other than clear water, SUNFLOWER SEEDS, or any SHELLED NUTS are strictly prohibited at Franklin Field and Mills High School. Ground stakes of any kind for canopies, hitting nets, etc. are not allowed on the turf at Franklin Field or Mills High School. No BBQs or cooking equipment of any kind are allowed at any venues. Camping, RVs or overnight parking is not allowed at any venues.
21. Fences/Cones: On fields where there is a fence marking the outfield boundary, a batted ball going over the fence without touching the ground is a home run. Any ball bouncing over, getting lodged in, or rolling under the fence will be a ground rule double. On fields where cones are used to mark the outfield boundary, a batted ball flying past the boundary without touching the ground is a home run. Any ball which crosses the cone line after first making contact with the field of play, or a player in the field of play, is a ground-rule double.
22. Participation: You participate in this event at your own risk and realize that the activities may have an element of hazard. You take full responsibility for your actions and physical condition. You agree to indemnify and hold harmless BGS, their agents, the umpires, the Burlingame Department of Parks & Recreation and their employees, the Burlingame School District and their employees, and the San Mateo Unified High School District and their employees from any liability, loss, or expense (including attorney fees, medical and ambulance costs).
8Open Division Tournament Rules
1. 8Open Division:
Subject to availability of USA Softball Umpires, games in the 8U Rec division may be umpired by youth umpires. The 8U division will follow the NorCal 8U Rec Coach Pitch Tournament Rules with the following exceptions and clarifications:
Time Limit: No new inning after 70 minutes or 6 full innings for pool play and 75 minutes or 6 full innings for bracket play. Championship game shall be 80 minutes or 6 full innings.
Bases: 60 Feet.
Pitching Distance: 30 feet.
Stealing: No stealing.
Run Limits: For the first 2 innings, there will be a 4 run per inning (per team) maximum. No run limits thereafter.
No Walks / Coach Pitch:
A coach-pitcher will enter the circle when 4 balls have been called by the umpire. Coach must pitch “legal” pitches from the pitching plate.
The coach-pitcher will resume the player-pitcher strike count and will throw no more than three (3) pitches with the umpire calling balls & strikes. (Note: The number of pitches the coach-pitcher is allowed to throw is not limited by the ball-strike count they inherit).
If the pitch is not put into play by the last pitch, the batter is out. Exception: If the last pitch is a foul ball, pitching continues until the ball is hit and put in play or the batter is called out.
If a batted ball hits the coach-pitcher, then the ball is dead, the batter is out, and all runners return to the base occupied at the time of the pitch. At no time shall the coach-pitcher obstruct play.
Player-Pitcher must have one foot in the circle (or within 8’ of the pitching plate when no circle exists) at the time the coach-pitcher is pitching.
Coach-Pitcher must stay in the circle (or within 8’ of the pitching plate when no circle exists) during play and may not provide Coaching assistance.
Hit by Pitch (HBP): Batter will not be awarded a base on a HBP from a coach-pitcher. Batter will be awarded first base if HBP by a player-pitcher.
Bunting: Bunting allowed on player pitch, but not on coach pitch.
Pitching Limits: Players will pitch to the opposing team. 2 inning limit per pitcher per game, plus 1 additional inning if the game goes more than 4 innings. One pitch in an inning constitutes a complete inning.
Franklin Field Rules: Canopies/pop-up tents are NOT allowed in the center of the Franklin Field. This area is reserved from team warm-ups.
Protests: There shall be no protests in the 8U Division.
2023 printable Billie Sue Official Rules. Please note that if there are there are differences between the rules on our website and the official rules, the official rules will prevail.
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