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Tournament Rules

Rules of Play (Updated 5/1/21)

 All games will be played under National High School Federation rules except for the following:


All teams are required to carry with them at all times a copy of their official roster, a copy of each player’s birth certificates and a copy of their insurance. At their first game they are to show the insurance certificate to the umpire. In the event of a player’s age challenge each team must show the player’s birth certificate or valid State-issued ID with birth information. If player is found to be to ineligible the player will be removed from tournament, the head coach will be ejected from the remainder of the tournament.  There will be NO FORFEITS because of an ineligible player. A sub may replace the ineligible player if one is available, otherwise an automatic out will take place in the same manner as an injured player.

A player may appear on ONLY one roster at a time. Any player found to be participating with more than one team shall result in the second team’s disqualification, and suspension of the player for the remainder of the tournament.


 All teams have the option of the following lineups:

  • Teams may bat 9 batters
  • Teams may bat 10 batters. An (EH) may be used in the batting lineup. If you start with an (EH) you must finish with an (EH), or take an out at that at-bat.\
  • Teams may bat entire roster. In this case if a player is unable to bat for any reason an out is declared for that player each time he is unable to take his turn at bat.

 For 9u and 10u only, when batting their entire lineup, if a player is unable to bat at any time solely due to on field injury, then no out will be call but the player is no longer eligible to play in the rest of game offensively or defensively.

 Each team must announce their options when exchanging line ups with other team at pregame conference with umpires.

Reentry Rule:

Teams may substitute for defensive positions (except pitcher) as many times as they wish, as long as the batting order remains the same. A player does not have to play the field in order to bat. Conversely, a player does not have to bat to play the field. Once a player has been placed in a slot of the batting order, the player may only bat in that slot.

Time Limit:

9U-12U games will be 6 innings and no new inning will start after 1 hour and 50 minutes.

13U-14U games will be 7 innings and no new inning will start after 2 hour.

A new inning begins when the last out of the previous inning is made. The tournament directors have right to put in drop dead times if games begin to run behind on any day.

Games call before a full inning is complete because of weather, darkness, or other pertinent matters will revert back to the previous inning for the score. If the game has not reached official game status by reverting back to the previous inning, the coaches will mark their books and the game will be considered a complete game. A game is considered to have reached official status at the completion of 4 innings (3 ½ if home team is leading). Games ending in ties due to darkness, time or weather after 4 innings will remain as ties.

No time limits for championship games only, but mercy rules still apply.


Home team will be determined by coin flip in all pool round/robin play games. Higher seed will have choice for all games on Sunday.

Intentional delays:

The umpire and tournament directors reserve the right to eject any player, coach or fan for intentionally delaying a game. A forfeit may be enforced at the tournament director’s discretion.


No protest!! Judgment calls are final. A coach may politely ask the umpire who made the call to clarify a rules interpretation. The umpires on the field will make a final decision on the field.


Tiebreak rules will apply to determine all seeding after round robin play.

Tiebreak rules will apply for division winners, wild card winners and seeding for playoffs.

Tiebreakers are as followed in this order:

  • Win Loss Record
  • Head to Head record (if only 2 teams are tied)
  • Least amount of total runs allowed
  • Lowest single game runs allowed
  • 2nd lowest single game runs allowed
  • Coin flip 


The home team will be the official scorebook. The visiting team is encouraged to maintain a book also.

Mercy Rule:

9U-12U 15 runs after 3 inning (2 ½ if home team is ahead). 10 runs after 4 innings (3 ½ if home team is ahead).

13U – 14U 15 runs after 4 inning (3 ½ if home team is ahead). 10 runs after 5 innings (4 ½ if home team is ahead).


  • Once a pitcher is removed from the mound they may not return to pitch in the same game.
  • Each team is allowed 1 balk warning per game for 11U through 12U.
  • No Balk warnings for 13U through 14U
  • One pitch constitutes a full inning pitched for all pitchers.
  • Coaches should use sound judgment in determining who is allowed to pitch each game. 


 There are no weight or size restrictions for 9U through 13U.

 14 & under ONLY    Bats must conform to BBCOR standards set forth in the 2012 NFHS Rule Book.

No artificial or intentional means shall be used to control the temperature of the bat.  Heating bats is strictly prohibited.  If a coach, parent or player is found to have altered the temperature of a bat the HEAD coach will be immediately ejected for the remainder of the tournament.  The bat will be removed for the rest of the tournament.  NO EXCEPTIONS! 

Courtesy Runners:

A courtesy runner for the pitcher and catcher is allowed at any time. The runner must be a player not in the game or was last out. The same courtesy runner cannot run for the pitcher and catcher in the same inning.


Coaches and fans ejected from a game must exit the park immediately and not return for the rest of that game plus their next scheduled game. Players may stay with their respective teams but may not participate in rest of that game plus the next scheduled game provided they display a sportsmanlike manner for the duration of the game.


Teams that are hosting game sites for the tournament have first priority when choosing their dugouts for all games in the tournament at their host site. Dugouts are on a first come first serve bases for Friday and Saturday after that. If an agreement cannot be made then teams should flip a coin to determine who has first choice. On Sunday the higher seed shall pick their dugout unless the other team is hosting a game site at their home field. Exception: A team that played previous game shall have the right to stay in dugout regardless of seeding or hosting home game sites for tournament.

Pregame Infield:

There will be absolutely NO infield warm-ups before any scheduled game. Please allow the field crews to work on the fields between games if they choose to.

Start of game:

All teams are expected to be at fields ready to play ½ hour prior to game time. Please be prepared to start games early if field, umpires and teams are ready to play. Teams must have 9 players to start game NO exceptions. Teams may finish with 8 players (out taken for vacant spot in lineup).

Reporting scores: Winning coach must text Game# and score to 410-449-0336 immediately at the completion of the game. Failure to follow these procedures could result in both teams having to forfeit their games at the tournament director’s discretion.

8U Coach Pitch

1. Sixty (60) feet base paths.
2. Forty (40) feet mound distance.
3. Six (6) inning games.
4. Mercy Rule: Twelve (12) run lead at Three and one-half (3 1⁄2) inning (home team) or four
(4) innings (visiting team) and Ten (10) run lead after Four and one-half (4 1⁄2) inning (home team) or five (5) innings (visiting team) is a completed game.
5. NO Max runs per inning.
6. Time Limits: no new inning after 1:45.
7. No in-field fly rule.
8. No dropped third strike rule, ball is alive for all base runners.
9. Base runners shall not leave/lead off base until ball has crossed home plate. Leaving early will result in the runner called out.
10. Stealing is not allowed.
11.4 outfielders will be used / no short fielders allowed. 10 players in the field. 4
players in the outfield grass.
12. Each batter will receive a maximum of five (5) pitches. If the ball is not put into play after  pitches the batter is out. A foul ball on the 5th pitch is considered a strikeout. 

‘No Pitch’ The umpire may declare a ‘no pitch’ if the ball is not hittable and the batter does not swing. In this case the pitch will not count toward the batter’s 5 pitches.


Any player, in possession and in control of the ball within the 60 ft base paths and in fair territory, may call time out. In the umpire’s judgement that the requisites have been met, the umpire will grant time out immediately. Any runner, that in the judgment of the umpire is more than halfway to a base, that runner will be awarded  that base. Otherwise, the base runner will be returned to the previous base.

The Tournament director has the final say on all rules and rules can be changed up and until the start of the first game played.   

Thank you and have fun,

Mid Atlantic Tournament Baseball Staff