Baseball Tournament Rules
Policies and Procedures
- BombSquad Baseball’s tournament management will make every effort to treat all teams with fairness. If questions or disputes arise about policies and procedures, coaches shall bring them to the attention of the Tournament Director to be dealt with. Situations that arise may not be covered in rules and will be determined in what is fair and consistent with traditional baseball. Of course, one or both teams may be adversely affected by rulings.Any interpretation and decision of the Tournament Director shall be final.
- FANS are to cheer for their players and great plays. They are not to spew negative and critical comments for all to hear as this lowers the atmosphere and players perform worse. Fans ARE NOT to address umpires in any manner before, during or after games. If a fan has a question or disagreement, they should communicate with their team’s coach.
Umpires have been assigned to each game that have no vested interested in the outcome for either team. Coaches, players and their fans should treat the umpires with respect, even when in disagreement or if in their viewpoint a call was botched.With regard to on-field calls, the decision of the umpires shall be final. Coaches may request time to calmly and quietly discuss rules interpretations or to find out if a second umpire had a better vantage point to make a call. Balls and strikes and are not up for debate, questionable and no one wants to hear the moans and groans so often found at youth baseball parks. Do not make a scene, do not scream at the umps from your dugout or coaching box, do not mutter under your breath… simply call time and converse with your umpire. They may make mistakes and will certainly make decisions (perhaps many decisions) that one team or the other disagree with. Its a youth baseball game and is not going to make or break any player’s professional baseball possibilities so communicate then move on.
Aggressive, covertly hostile and/or bad behavior by spectators, coaches, players, and fans targeting event staff, umpires, other teams, players, coaches or fans will not be tolerated and is cause for removal from the game, tournament, future tournaments, event premises and a visit with local authorities. This unwanted hostility may be verbal, physical and also extends to include all other online communication channels used to cyber bully, harm, injur, disrespect, or invalidate another.
Coaches are to ensure their fans know and understand that this tournament does not want “noise pollution” as it adversely affects those trying to enjoy youth baseball. If fans ride umpires, engage in derogatory, critical and invalidating comments that negatively affect the environment of those around them, their coach is to be given a warning to handle his fans by the umpire and if he does not handle it, the coach is to be ejected. If the fans or coaches continue to be hostile, the team may be disqualified from the game and the tournament at the discretion of the Tournament Director.
The Tournament Director reserves the right to eject any fan from the premises in order to resolve situations and maintain a safe environment. Coaches are asked to assist with the removal of any ejected fans.
Our intention is for this to be a family friendly event. Unlike many professional sporting events, our staff and umpires are not paid enough to receive your criticism so don’t do it . Please help us to maintain a friendly atmosphere, even if you disagree with every call an umpire makes.
- All teams must check in at least one hour prior to their first game and present a parent and coach signed roster/waiver, copies of birth certificates to be kept until the conclusion of the tournament, and a copy of your insurance certificate.A maximum of 21 players may be on the official tournament roster and only those players may participate in tournament games.
- Prior to the start of each game, both teams will donate two NEW quality game balls (ex. Wilson A1010, A1030) and deliver them to the umpire. Teams and their fans are asked to retrieve all foul balls and return them to the umpire.Should a player hit an out of the park home run, his coach may replace one of the game balls with an acceptable ball and offer the home run ball to his player. Umpires will retain all game balls at the conclusion of the games as these are used for Home Run Derby and then donated to the local youth and school baseball programs.
- There will be spectator admission fees for spectators of $5 for adults and children six and older.If no one is at the gate or collecting fees or if spectators that want to sit in their car or outside the fences, they should locate an event staff (check concessions) and pay their admission fee. Once on-site gate admission fees are paid, there will be no refunds or rain checks.
Coaches – please ensure all of your fans know there is an admission fee to watch games. The admission fees pay for tournament expenses and the remainder gets donated back to the high school’s baseball program. We won’t make a scene with your fans that refuse to pay, but will notify the coach and a team representative will need to cover the fan’s admission prior to the start of the next game.
Each team may have up to a maximum of three coaches in the dugout and these coaches will not be charged an admission. The coaches in the dugout are those the head coach lists out on the tournament roster. Many teams use parents to help with scoring, hitting balls, etc., these are considered fans.Notify the tournament staff if there are coaching changes.
- The birthday cutoff is May 1st. In the 13U/14U/15U/16U/17U/18U tournaments, a player may participate if he is one year older, but was in the same grade in school as the rest of the players on his team and in the particular age group tournament. The player may not be older than one year as of May 1st and the player must show proof (report card, etc.) at the time of check in. Questions of age eligibility shall be brought to the attention of the Tournament Director. Such matters will be investigated and resolved as quickly as possible. A team found using an ineligible player will forfeit all games the ineligible player played. The forfeit score shall be 12-0 for tiebreaker purposes. Teams in the 17U may roster up to two 18U players, 18U may roster up to two 19 year old players.
- Teams shall arrive on site 45 minutes prior to the scheduled start time. If the previous game finishes early, teams may be asked to begin play earlier than scheduled. If a team fails to field 7 players within 15 minutes of game time, the Tournament Director, at his discretion, may issue a forfeit victory. The team that wins the game by forfeit will be credited with a 7-0 victory for tiebreaker purposes; however, the Tournament Director may remove the non-showing team and reschedule the present team so that they get their promised quantity of games. A team starting with less than 9 players will include a spot(s) at the end of their batting order. If a player arrives, they will be inserted into the lines-up in the empty spot. Until they arrive, an out will be recorded when the empty spot in the order comes up, but it will not be the final out in an inning.
IMPORTANT – IF YOU DON’T SHOW UP FOR A GAME, YOU WILL BE DISQUALIFIED FROM THE TOURNAMENT THIS YEAR AND MAY BE DENIED ENTRANCE IN FUTURE YEARS.
- The home team for seeding games is scheduled prior to the start of the game. If teams have not been notified, then home team shall be determined by a coin flip and it will keep the official scorebook. In bracket play, the better seed will be the home team throughout the bracket playoffs.
- The home team as scheduled will be in the 3rd base dugout. If a team has back to back games on the same field, they should always remain in the same dugout, to avoid the extra time involved in moving bags, etc. Players should remain alert at all times for balls and bats coming their way and retrieve foul balls.
- There will be no infield practice before games. Teams are allowed to play catch in the outfield area if the time allows. Never do flip drills into fences on the premise or any other drill that will cause destruction to the facilities property.
- Your team representative shall write in the score or verify its correctness if the other team wrote in the score on the schedule posted near concessions immediately following each game. Umpires will also text the final score to the tournament director. Since tiebreakers often come into play, accurate score reporting is essential. Scores will be posted by the concession stand and online. If your score is reported incorrectly, inform the tournament director.
- To seed and handle tiebreakers, the following shall be used:
- Points Scored from won-lost-tie records. 2 points awarded for a win, 1 point for a tie, 0 points for a loss.
- Head-to-head (only applies when two teams are involved)
- Total runs scored (Maximum of 12 runs per game will count towards this tie breaker)
- Least number of runs allowed throughout the tournament (max 12 runs in any onegame)
- Strength of schedule – most pointsby opponents.
- High card draw or Tourney Director’s discretion – for example avoiding two teams that have already played.
- The Tournament Director may modify the number or length of games when necessary due to weather, field, or scheduling issues. This includes modifying the time limit if games get backed up. Additionally, the tournament director may modify the schedule during the tournament at his sole discretion.
- Each team will assign a sub player or a parent to retrieve foul balls on their side of the field.
- There will be a “zero tolerance” policy for any alcohol or tobacco anywhere within the confines of the tournament venues. The Manager will be ejected from the game(s) if his team’s fans bring alcohol onto the event premises, including the parking lot.
The official playing rules for the tournament shall be the NFHS (high school) rules with the following highlights/exceptions:
Field Dimensions – So long as field dimensions are the same for both teams, we’ll play ball. Some parks we utilize will not accommodate our exact dimensions and teams should make their own adjustments.
We strive to have games played as follows:
14U and older… 60′ 6″ pitching plate to home plate X 90′ bases
13U… 54′ pitching plate to home plate X 90′ bases on the varsity and jv baseball fields. Games on June 30th weekend may be played at Imagination Glen Park in Portage and will be 54′ x 80′. Portable mounds may be used in which case pitchers will need shoes without metal spikes.
11U and 12U… 50′ pitching plate to home plate X 70′ bases – 200′ fences on most fields
8U-9U-10U… 46′ pitching plate to home plate. Bases are at 65′ or 70′ because we permit lead-offs and stealing.
Players – One Extra Hitter (EH) may be used.If an EH is used, there is free defensive rotations/substitutions among the 10 players listed on the batting order.An EH should be thought of as a defensive position on the bench.
A DH may be used that only hits and never enters the game. The player being DH’s for, only plays defense. If the DH enters the game defensively, the player he was DHing for is done.
A starting player that is substituted me be reinstated into the line-up once. A sub may not re-enter once he leave the game.
A starting pitcher that is removed from the mound, but not the out of the game can re-take the mound once. No relief pitcher may re-take the mound once he has been relieved. The starting pitcher may become the EH and later retake the mound.
NO BATTING ORDER WILL HAVE MORE THAN 10 PLAYERS IN THE LINE UP – NO EXCEPTIONS.
The ultimate safety of players and the responsibility of managing pitch counts and innings pitched rests with the team’s Manager and the player’s parents. It is strongly recommended that no pitcher pitch more than 14 innings in any 3 day period.
Some games may use portable mounds, metal spikes may not be worn on portable mounds.
Safety – Bat Restrictions and Equipment Notes
All wood bats are acceptable. For 14U-18U, the NFHS bat standards (BBCOR) are to be followed for all non-wood bats with a maximum of -3 weight/length ratio. For 8U-13U, there are no weight/length bat restrictions, but bats must contain a BPF 1.15 or BBCOR stamp. No corked bats or other manufacturer altered bats are permitted. If a bat is found to be illegal by credible organizations, for example it fails the quality control measure of USSSA, then it will be deemed illegal in our tournament.
Batting recommendations continuously change form year to year. Our rules may change without notice to reflect recommendations of bat manufacturers or those organizations that are considered authority on player safety issues.
The ultimate responsibility for selecting and inspecting all team equipment for safety rests with each team’s Head Coach. Coaches that recognize (or are told by a player) that a player on either team is using an illegal bat is to notify the umpire immediately and not wait for a big play to be called off. If a player is thought to have used an illegal bat, the opposing coach must request the bat to be checked immediately and prior to the next pitch and if a player is found to have used an illegal bat, the opposing coach has the choice to allow the play to stand or call for a “mulligan” (do the pitch over with all runners back at their starting point and the previous count on the batter).If a coach knowingly knew an illegal bat was being used and did not notify the umpire immediately, the umpire may let any play stand.
Metal Spikes are allowed for 13U and older, but not for 12U. No metal spikes on portable mounds.
Every effort will be made to make sure base distances, pitching distances, and field dimensions are accurate. So long as the field dimensions are reasonable and the same for both teams, play shall not be stopped to reinstall bases or pitching rubbers.
Players should use their best efforts to avoid contact, including returning to a proceeding base. Intentionally running over another player, lowering a shoulder into another, etc. is grounds for immediate ejection at the sole discretion of the umpire. He may, at his discretion, give a warning based on the severity of the collision, an attempt to avoid contact made, etc.
When there is a close play at 2nd, 3rd or home, players should avoid contact or slide. In a very close play at one of these bases and the player does not slide resulting in a violent collision, in the viewpoint of the umpire, the player that did not slide will be called out.
It is runner interference should a players not slide or get completely out of the way of the fielders when breaking up a double play and both runners will be out.
In all ages 14 or under, players may not fake bunt and swing. The umpire is to call the ball dead, the batter out and return any base runners to their starting point. At 15U and older, this is a legal play.
The start time shall begin at the conclusion of the coach’s meeting with the umpires. The home plate umpire or his designee shall monitor the official time. All games, except championship game shall have a1 hour and 40 minute time limit.The recording of the third out of the bottom of an inning starts a new inning and its this exact point that will be used to determine if another inning shall be played or not or reverted back to for tie-breaker purposes. If the home team is ahead when the time limit is reached, the game is over immediately after the top half of the inning is played and the bottom half of the last inning shall not be played. If the home team is still up to bat and winning the game when the time limit expires, the game will be ended immediately without completing another pitch.
If a game is delayed due to weather or anything outside the normal course of the game, such as, a player requires medical attention, a protest situation occurs, etc., the game clock will be stopped untilresolved.
The Tournament Director reserves the right to modify the time limit for all games in the event of weather or scheduling issues. There is no time limit in championship bracket games (unless the Tournament Director deems it necessary due to weather or scheduling issues).
After the regulation game has ended (7 innings for 11U and older) but before the 1:40 hour time-limit, each team will start the inning with a man on 1st and 3rd base and 0 outs. The base runner will be the last 2 batters in the line-up and in the game.
If a team has back to back games and they are close to or past the scheduled start time for their next game, they will be given 15 minutes from the last out to the first pitch. We don’t have lights so we have to stay on schedule.
Weather Shortened Games –Under inclement weather, the game may be called anytime after it is started. If under three innings have been played and scheduling permits, the game will resume from where it left off; however, if scheduling does not permit, the team in the lead will be the winning team. If the game is ended in the middle of an inning, the score from the last complete inning will be the final score. Umpires may halt play due to weather or other circumstances, but only tournament director may end the game.
Bracket Play Time Limits– The tournament champions and runner-up champions will be playing the final game of the day and we want their game to be played in daylight. Teams and umpires should work to start games early so that complete games can be played.
1) For this reason, the same “no new inning after 1:40 still applies, except the championship game which has not time limit.
2) No new inning will start after the next game’s scheduled start time.
An umpire observing a team is doing things to intentionally run out the clock instead of permitting the plays in the game to determine the outcome, the umpire is immediately warn the coach, and after a warning if the coach/players continue to stall, the umpire is to extend the game proportionate to the delays.
In bracket play, teams after the 1st scheduled game of the day are to be at the field and prepared to play 30 minutes before their scheduled start time. If the previous game ends early, the teams are to begin within 15 minutes of the previous game’s conclusion giving players every opportunity to determine the winner by their play on the field.
3) No new batter may be pitched to after 8:20 pm or earlier at the sole discretion of the umpire if he/she determines its unsafe to play due to darkness. The game concludes at this time.
4) If a game is tied after time has expired and no new inning may begin, the better seed will advance.
5)If the game is ended before completion due to darkness or weather, etc., the winner will be the home team if they are in the lead. If the game is tied or the visitors are winning and the inning is not complete,the winner will be whichever team was leading after the last previous completed inning that there was a team in the lead. If no team was ever in the lead at a completed inning, the better seed will be the winner (pool play will be a tie).
6) If a bracket play game is cancelled (weather, etc.), the better seed will advance.
Speed Rules Apply
We want to complete games! In order to do so, we’ve adapted rules that have proven to assist umpires, coaches and players to get in all innings.
It is ideal for teams to get full and complete games in. For this reason, all players, coaches and umpires are asked to keep the game moving at a steady pace by getting on and off the field briskly, one foot in the batters box while getting signals, on deck hitters getting foul balls behind the catcher, etc. Teams should not (may not) engage in gross stalling tactics.
Pitchers at the start of the game and relief pitchers shall have 6 pitches on the mound and all subsequent innings the pitchers have two throws. If a pitcher needs more throws, he should do so in hi bullpen while his team is hitting.
After the first inning, there is no infield or outfield throws between innings on the field.
Players needing additional throws should do so while their team is batting.
Trips to the Mound
Coaches have a maximum of one minute from once time is called to address their infield at the mound. Indiana High School rules offer a coach one free conference to the mound in an inning. If the coach makes a second trip to the mound in the same inning, that pitcher must be pulled from the game. During the game, a coach may make TWO visits to the mound without pulling his pitcher, starting with the 3rd conference and all subsequent trips by a coach to the mound for a conference, the pitcher must be removed from the pitcher’s position.If a pitcher is pulled, the trip is not considered a conference.
There will be no pitches thrown to intentionally walk a batter. Notify the umpire, and the batter will be awarded first base.
Courtesy runners are optional at any time for the pitcher and catcher, but mandatory for pitchers and catchers once there is 1 or more outs. Pitchers and catchers are to be ready and take the field immediately once the final out has been made.
The courtesy runner shall be a player not currently in the batting lineup. If a team has no subs, the courtesy runner will be the player in the batting order that currently is the last possible player to come up to bat and who is not currently on base, but not the pitcher or catcher. The pitcher or catcher for this rule is the pitcher or catcher from the previous inning or starters if in the first inning. During games with no time limits or when time has expired, a team may use, but is no longer required to use, a courtesy runner.
- Mercy rule is 8 after 3 for ages 13 and older.Mercy rule is 10 after 3 for 12 and under.
- Where there is less than 2 hour time slots scheduled for a game to be played, 8 runs after 3 innings and 6 after 4.
- Bracket play for 13 and older is 8 after 3, 6 after 4.
- Bracket play for 12 and under is 10 after 3.
If one team goes up by 15, their at-bats in that inning will be immediately concluded regardless of being the visitors or home team. Once a team is ahead by 15 runs, they will be limited to 10 batters in an inning until the differential is under 15 runs.
The sun sets between 8:20 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. in Northwest Indiana in June/July. Unless playing on a lighted field, no new batter may enter the batters box after 8:20 p.m. If a game is still in progress at this time, the winner shall be the home team if they are winning, or if the home team is not in the lead, the winner will be whichever team was leading after the last completed inning.
If a game is tied after the time limit expires in the preliminary rounds, the game shall end in a tie.
In bracket play, 30 minutes till the end of the game, if the teams are tied at the end of any inning, teams will start new innings with a player on 1st and 3rd base (last two in the batting order).
No new inning may be started 15 minutes after the next game’s scheduled start time, and if the game ends in a tie, the better seed will advance.
There will be no warnings for balks. Umpires are to call the balks they see. They may advise the pitcher and coach why they called a balk after it has occurred, but should not be advising the pitcher prior to making the call. Common balks should be called for no pause, dropping the ball while on the rubber, non-pitching motions leading to no pitches thrown once set, getting set twice, taking signs from the dugout or while not on the rubber, fake throws to 1st without stepping off the rubber, throwing a pick off to a player not at a base, etc.
With a runner on 1st and 3rd, faking a throw to third, throwing to 1st is not a balk in our tournament.
If a coach is ejected from a game, he will serve a one game suspension. The suspension is for the remainder of the game AND the next game the team plays. The tournament director has discretion to lengthen the penalty if its in the best interest and safety of the tournament or shorten the penalty to only the remainder of the game should he determine its the right thing to do. Warranted ejections will not have their penalties reduced. If a player is ejected, he is out the remained of the current game, unless the reason for the ejection is severe in which case the tourney director may add a game(s) suspension or removal from the tournament.
Ejected coaches, players and fans are to leave the entire baseball complex and premises without further distraction. Failure to do so may result in removal from the tournament.
Alcohol Ejections – This is youth baseball, not Wrigley Field so parents and coaches, don’t booze up before or during the game – we don’t want you at the park if you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Additionally, our leases demand that we prohibit alcohol on the premises. Giving players the opportunity to play a nice quantity of games at an economic price is more important than any one individual’s need to party at the field or tail gate in the parking lot (or elsewhere) during or before arriving at the game. Those drinking anywhere on the premises are putting our organization at risk.
The Manager of the team is the team representative, thus accountable for the behavior of his supporters. He/she will be ejected from the game and perhaps the tournament if his parents or spectators are intoxicated or drinking alcohol/doing drugs on the school or park property, including the parking lot. The person(s) drinking or intoxicated will also be ejected.
Additionally, if anyone on your team causes a disturbance where the police need to be called, your coach may be ejected and your team may be removed from the tournament.
If you have supporters that you know are potential trouble sources or have a habit of causing problems for others, please ask them to stay away.
So Managers… You are responsible and accountable for the play of your team AND the behavior of those that support your team.
Injuries and Early Departures
If a player becomes injured (as ruled by the umpire), is unable to continue playing, and the team has no more players in uniform, his spot in the batting order shall be skipped with no penalty. Once the injured player leaves the batting order, he is done for the remainder of that game.
If BombSquad Baseball cancels an event prior to the start date because of lack of registrations or events within its control, all teams registered will receive a full refund. If a tournament is cancelled due to force majeur, which include acts of war, natural catasrophe,
Once an entry fee is paid for an event, teams may cancel and get a 100% refund if cancelling 90+ days before the first day of the tournament, 50% refund between 60-89 days of the first day of the tournament and there will be no refunds issued for teams who withdraw for any reason within 60 days of the first day of the tournament.
If a team withdraws 30 days or more before the first day of the tournament, they may receive a full credit to be used in a future tournament.
A team may replace itself with another team and the two teams may work out their own financial arrangement.
If an event or game is cancelled due to inclement weather, or an opponent not arriving or quitting during the tournament, refund credits will be issued as follows:
0 games played: Full credit towards a future Midwest Baseball Championships event either later this year or next year.
1 game played: Half credit towards a future Midwest Baseball Championships event either later this year or next year.
2+ games played: No refunds
If a tournament is cancelled due to unusual circumstances, such as, earthquakes, war, floods, sewage issues, government decisions, health or welfare concerns, facility closures, etc., BombSquad Baseball will use its best efforts to reschedule the tournament within 60 days. If a tournament is not able to be played because of unusual circumstances, BombSquad Baseball will refund 100% of monies paid upon written request.
BombSquad Baseball will release the official Midwest Baseball Championships schedule for each event on or before the Tuesday prior to the event. If a scheduled is published before the Tuesday, all teams are asked to recheck the schedule on or after 6 pm on Tuesday evening. Teams must be prepared to play in any of the time slots for the scheduled days of the event. Teams that do not show up for a scheduled game will be removed from the tournament.
Game results will be updated as timely as possible online at BombSquadBaseball.comand at the concession stand.
8U Additional Rules
- Dimensions 46’ pitching x 65’ bases
- No stealing home, runners must score by a batted ball, walk or hit by pitch
- No balks will be called
- No drop 3rdstrike – batter is out if strike 3 is called
- Mandatory courtesy runner for catcher with 1 or 2 outs. Courtesy runners are to be someone not in the batting line-up, or if all are playing, the last player that will bat in the current inning.
- There is no infield or outfield throwing after the 1stinning. Kids can throw outside the dugout if they need to throw.
- After a pitcher has pitched in a previous inning, they get two pitches as a warm-up in new innings. They throw a pitch, the second pitch is thrown down by the catcher.
- Up to 3 Extra Hitters allows – you can bat 9, 10, 11, or 12 kids that can freely move around defensively. Additional players may sub into the batting line-up but if pulled they are out for the game.
- There is a 12 batter maximum per inning. To end the inning on the 12thbatter, the defensive player needs to have control of the ball and step on home plate.
- If a player is removed from the batting order without a substitute for injury, sickness, etc., their spot in the order is skipped and no out is recorded. The player may not reenter the game.
- Mercy rule is a 15 run lead after 4 completed innings (3 ½ if home team is up).
Home Run Derby – home plate will be at or near 2ndbase and the players will hit over the 1stbase fence (spectators beware). The player may hit from a tee or have someone pitch or soft toss to them.
Home Run Derby– Each participating player will have a chosen parent or coach do side toss to the player. Every ball hit that doesn’t clear the fence will be an out. Once the player reaches 5 outs, his turn is over. The fences will be set at 270′ for 15 and older, 210’ for 14U and 13U, 150′ for 11U and 12U and 120′ for 10U.
Our Home Run Derby doubles as a fund raiser. Each player on your roster may participate in the contest for a $10/player donation. Sign-up byclicking here– then send us an email with the players name and team.
Occasionally, we have too many teams enter a tournament, weather conditions cause scheduling changes or there are not many that sign-up. In those cases, BombSquad Baseball reserves the right to not host a derby.
Top Guns Infield Competition – Before their first game on Saturday, each team in the tourney will select a complete infield to compete. Whichever team gets the ball around the infield the fastest is the winner. Teams will get two tries. Missed balls must be picked up by the intended receiver. Here is the order:
Throw 1 – Pitcher to catcher
Throw 2 – Catcher to 3rd
Throw 3 – 3rdto 2nd
Throw 4 – 2ndto 1st
Throw 5 – 1stto catcher
Throw 6 – catcher to ss
Throw 7 – ss to 3rd
Throw 8 – 3rdto 2nd
Throw 9 – 2ndto 1st
Throw 10 – 1stto ss
Throw 11 – ss to pitcher
Note: When a ball is thrown to a position, the player must tag the bag with his mitt/ball before releasing the ball. Short stop and 2nd share second base.
Barely missing a bag is a 2 second penalty,grossly missing a bag is a 10 second penalty.
The umpires will keep time and turn in the results with their official scorecard. The winning team will be posted neat the concession stands on or before the start of the Home Run Derby.