Rules

Iowa USSSA Fastpitch Rules

CLICK HERE for a direct link to the USSSA Fastpitch Rule Book

All games will be played by USSSA rules, with the following exceptions:

  1. Home team will be the official scorekeeper in all tournament games.
  2. Pre-game conference and coin flip between manager and umpires will take place 5 minutes prior to the start of the game.
  3. No organized infield practice before the games. Teams may warm up beyond the baselines or in foul territory while infield is being prepared. No live batting practice is allowed on the field or in the complex at any time. Batting nets are allowed.
  4. Time limit for all games is 70 minutes. Time begins after the pre-game conference. Time limit could change in case of tournament interruptions. All teams should be prepared to start their game up to 10 minutes early in case we are ahead of schedule. (This will help the tournament keep on time)
  5. Regulation games will be defined by the type of game that it is.
    1. Pool play: Games will be 7 innings or time limit. If the game is tied at the end of regulation, it will be declared a tie.
    2. Bracket Play: Games will be 7 inning or time limit. Games that are tied at the end of regulation will use the ITB rule until a winner is declared.
  6. Run rules: 10 runs after 3 innings; 8 runs after 4 innings; 6 runs after 5 innings.
  7. Team manager may consult with the umpires; players, sponsors and other coaches are to keep out of discussions.
  8. No smoking or tobacco use on the field or in the dugouts.
  9. Roster Batting will be allowed during the ENTIRE tournament. Conversely, all State and USSSA World Series events will be played by the rule book. Regardless of the number of players you have, you will need to announce your line-up format at the pre-game conference with the officials. AND YOU WILL BE REQUIRED TO TURN IN A LINE-UP CARD NO MATTER WHAT TYPE OF BATTING LINE-UP YOU ARE USING.  Due to IA USSSA allowing roster batting, for teams that choose to roster bat, there are some additional rules that need to be clarified:
    1.  Injury:
      1. Batter: If a batter cannot fulfill her time at bat due to injury or illness, that player will be eliminated from that entire game. Her spot will be skipped in the batting order. Teams will not be required to take an automatic out UNTIL they drop below 9 players.
      2. Runner: If a runner cannot continue her time on the bases, that player will be substituted with the last batter not on base. She will not be allowed to participate in the remainder of the game. The line-up will compress when her spot comes to bat.
    2. Ejections: A player ejection while roster batting will result in the team losing that player for the entire game. Her spot in the batting order WILL be an automatic out.
      1. Courtesy runner will be allowed for pitcher and catcher at any time. The courtesy runner will be designated by the following rules:
      2. Rulebook batting line-up: Per rulebook designation
      3. Roster batting line-up: The last batter not on base. If the last batter not on base is unavailable (i.e. she is the catcher or pitcher), the designated runner will roll back until such time as a possible sub can be found.
  10. Teams may begin a game with 8 players. If the additional players arrive after the start of the game, they will be handled in the following manner:
    1. Rulebook batting line-up: Teams may add a 9th player to the line-up. Any additional players will be designated as substitutes.
    2. Roster batting line-up: Teams may add any and all players to the end of the line-up. These players must listed on the line-up card submitted prior to the game. If the players are not present for their time at bat, their spot will be skipped until they arrive with no automatic out being charged (unless below 9 players).
  11. The following procedure will be used to determine the seedings after pool play:
    1. If three or more teams are tied with the same record in a division, head-to-head may or may not be used to break ties.
    2. Once a level of tie-breaker is used, we DO NOT revert back to any steps of the tie-breaking procedure. We will continue on down the list until all ties are broken.
      1. Highest Winning Percentage (number of wins divided by number of games with a result (ties eliminated form formula))
      2. Most Wins
      3. Head-to-Head Games
      4. Runs allowed per game
      5. Runs differential (+/- of 8 runs per game)
      6. Coin Flip
  12. If a team is playing an extra pool game, the runs allowed and the Win/Loss in that game will not count towards your total. However, the result of the game (win/loss) will be used in head-to-head consideration if a tie in pool play occurs.
  13. In case of a rain-shortened tournament, pool play games can be deemed official after 2 ½ innings of play (with home team winning) or 45 minutes of elapsed game time. This policy will only be used through pool play. In addition, if games are cancelled due to weather, there may be an adjustment in application of the tie-breaking procedures.
10B Modified Rules Section

Beginning Fall 2022 we will be offering a special 10B Division that is offered to teams with a power ranking of 600 or below.  This will give teams a chance to learn to play by the 10U rules while playing against teams similar to their abilities.

  1. There will be an expanded strike zone in place for 10U.
  2. No Infield Fly Rule
  3. 5 Runs Per Half-Inning
  4. Roster batting Required

C PLAYING RULES ADDENDUM

All games will be played by USSSA rules, with the following exceptions:

  1. Home team will be the official scorekeeper in all tournament games.
  2. Pre-game conference and coin flip between managers and umpires will take place 5 minutes prior to the start of the game.
  3. No organized infield practice before the games. Teams may warm up beyond the baselines or in foul territory while infield is being prepared. No live batting practice is allowed on the field or in the complex at any time. Batting nets are allowed.
  4. Time limit for all games is 70 minutes. Time begins after the pre-game conference. Time limit could change in case of tournament interruptions. All teams should be prepared to start their game up to 10 minutes early in case we are ahead of schedule. (This will help the tournament keep on time)
  5. Once time has expired, the game will end if the losing team is trailing by the number of allowed runs per half inning +1.
  6. Regulation games will be defined by the type of game that it is. There will be two types of games played in the different formats that Iowa USSSA will be using:
    1. Pool play: Games will be 7 innings or time limit. If the game is tied at the end of regulation, it will be declared a tie.
    2. Bracket Play: Games will be 7 inning or time limit. Games that are tied at the end of regulation will use the ITB rule until a winner is declared.
  7. Run rules: 10 runs after 3 innings; 8 runs after 4 innings; 6 runs after 5 innings.
  8. Team manager may consult with the umpires; players, sponsors and other coaches are to keep out of discussions.
  9. No smoking or tobacco use on the field or in the dugouts.
  10. Roster Batting will be REQUIRED during the entire tournament.  THIS MEANS ALL AVAILABLE PLAYERS ON YOUR ROSTER THAT ARE IN YOUR DUGOUT MUST BE ON THE ROSTER.  AND YOU WILL BE REQUIRED TO TURN IN A LINE-UP CARD. Due to Iowa USSSA requiring roster batting, there are some additional rules that need to be clarified:
    1.  Injury:
      1. Batter: If a batter cannot fulfill her time at bat due to injury or illness, that player will be eliminated from that entire game. Her spot will be skipped in the batting order. Teams will not be required to take an automatic out UNTIL they drop below 9 players.
      2. Runner: If a runner cannot continue her time on the bases, that player will be substituted with the last batter not on base. She will not be allowed to participate in the remainder of the game. The line-up will compress when her spot comes to bat.
    2. Ejections: A player ejection while roster batting will result in the team losing that player for the entire game. Her spot in the batting order WILL be an automatic out.
  11. Courtesy runner will be allowed for pitcher and catcher at any time. The courtesy runner will be designated as the last batter not on base.
  12. Teams can score a maximum of 5 runs per half inning for all ages.
  13. If an Illegal Pitch is called, the penalty will be ball awarded to the batter, with NO advancement of runners on base.
  14. Games will end at time limit if a team is down by more than 5 runs or what they are allotted left to score in that half inning.
  15. Teams my begin a game with 8 players. Teams may add any and all players to the end of the line-up. These players must listed on the line-up card submitted prior to the game. If the players are not present for their time at bat, their spot will be skipped until they arrive with no automatic out being charged (unless below 9 players).
  16. The following procedure will be used to determine the seedings after pool play:
    1. If three or more teams are tied with the same record in a division, head-to-head may or may not be used to break ties.
    2. Once a level of tie-breaker is used, we DO NOT revert back to any steps of the tie-breaking procedure. We will continue on down the list until all ties are broken.
      1. Highest Winning Percentage (number of wins divided by number of games with a result (ties eliminated form formula))
      2. Most Wins
      3. Head-to-Head Games
      4. Runs allowed per game
      5. Runs differential (+/- of 8 runs per game)
      6. Coin Flip
  17. If a team is playing an extra pool game, the runs allowed and the Win/Loss in that game will not count towards your total. However, the result of the game (win/loss) will be used in head-to-head consideration if a tie in pool play occurs.
  18. In case of a rain-shortened tournament, pool play games can be deemed official after 2 ½ innings of play (with home team winning) or 45 minutes of elapsed game time. This policy will only be used through pool play. In addition, if games are cancelled due to weather, there may be an adjustment in application of the tie-breaking procedures.
10 & Under C Traditional Rules Section
  1. On defense, 4 outfielders may be employed.
  2. There will be an expanded strike zone in place for 10U.
  3. For 10U, players may only advance one base per pitch on a ball not put in play by contact.
  4. Batters may not advance on a dropped 3rd strike.
  5. No Infield Fly Rule
  6. THERE IS NO STEALING HOME. There are only 4 ways to score:
    1. Bases loaded walk.
    2. Bases loaded HBP.
    3. Batted ball in play.
    4. Ball entering Dead Ball Area
8U PLAYING RULES ADDENDUM

All games will be played by USSSA rules, with the following exceptions:

  1. Time limit for all games is 60 minutes. Time begins after the pre-game conference. Time limit could change in case of tournament interruptions. All teams should be prepared to start their game up to 10 minutes early in case we are ahead of schedule. (This will help the tournament keep on time)
  2. Once time has expired, the game will end if the losing team is trailing by the number of allowed runs per half inning +1.
  3. Regulation games will be defined by the type of game that it is.
    1. Pool play: Games will be 5 innings or time limit. If the game is tied at the end of regulation, it will be declared a tie.
    2. Bracket Play: Games will be 5 inning or time limit. Games that are tied at the end of regulation will use the ITB rule until a winner is declared.
  4. Run rules: 11 runs after 3 innings; 6 runs after 4 innings.
  5. Team manager may consult with the umpires; players, sponsors and other coaches are to keep out of discussions.
  6. No smoking or tobacco use on the field or in the dugouts.
  7. Roster Batting will be required during the ENTIRE tournament. Due to this roster batting, there are some additional rules that need to be clarified:
    1. Injury: If a batter cannot fulfill her time at bat due to injury or illness, that player will be eliminated from that entire game. Her spot will be skipped in the batting order. Teams will not be required to take an automatic out UNTIL they drop below 9 players.
    2. Ejections: A player ejection while roster batting will result in the team losing that player for the entire game. Her spot in the batting order WILL be an automatic out.
  8. Teams can score a maximum of 5 runs per half inning.
  9. Special 8U Coach Pitch Rules
    1. Playing Field: Bases 60 ft., Pitching 35 ft., Pitching Circle eight (8) ft. radius around the pitchers plate. Outfield; starts in the grass. 
    2. Pitching Distance: The pitching plate will be placed at 35′. The coach pitcher must deliver the pitch with one foot in contact with the pitching plate. Pitching coach may only coach the batter prior to the pitch. He/she may not coach the batter-runner at ANY time
    3. Hitting:
      1. An At-Bat will consist of 5 pitches or 3 swinging strikes (if the final pitch is a foul ball, the at-bat will continue).
      2. There will be no walks.
      3. **Bunting is allowed.  However, NO PULLBACK AND SWING WILL NOT BE ALLOWED.  The penalty is an automatic out. (For National Championship, bunting is not allowed – development aspect for IAUSSSA)
    4.  Baserunning:
      1. There will be no stolen bases allowed.
      2. Baserunners may not leave the base until the ball has has been released by the coach.
      3. On batted balls, once the ball is in control by the pitcher with one foot in contact with the 8ft circle, base runners must stop at the base they have obtained. If they are halfway to the next base they will be awarded that base. If the ball goes to the play and not the pitcher it remains live for the purpose of scoring and or defense to make an out.
      4. Courtesy runner will not be allowed for 8U division.
    5. Defense:
      1. All outfielders must remain in the grass until the ball is hit into play. 
      2. Two defensive coaches will be allowed on the field of play.  Coaches must remain behind the Infield Arc.
      3. Teams will be allowed to play 4 outfielders.
      4. No Infield Fly Rule
    6. Coaching Conferences:
      1. Teams will be allowed one (1) offensive and one (1) defensive conference per inning.
  10. Winner of pool play will be determined by won-loss record. If tied the following tiebreakers will be used.
    1. If three or more teams are tied with the same record in a division, head-to-head may or may not be used to break ties.
    2. Once a level of tie-breaker is used, we DO NOT revert back to any steps of the tie-breaking procedure. We will continue on down the list until all ties are broken.
      1. Highest Winning Percentage (number of wins divided by number of games with a result (ties eliminated form formula))
      2. Most Wins
      3. Head-to-Head Games
      4. Runs allowed per game
      5. Runs differential (+/- of 8 runs per game)
      6. Coin Flip
  11. Teams may begin a game with 8 players. If the 9th spot is not filled when that spot comes to bat, it will constitute an out. The 9th player can be added to the line-up at any time.
  12. In case of a rain-shortened tournament, pool play games can be deemed official after 2 ½ innings of play (with home team winning) or 45 minutes of elapsed game time. This policy will only be used through pool play. In addition, if games are cancelled due to weather, there may be an adjustment in application of the tie-breaking procedures.
  13. If a team is playing an extra pool game, the runs allowed and the Win/Loss in that game will not count towards your total. However, the result of the game (win/loss) will be used in head-to-head consideration if a tie in pool play occurs.
  1. HAVE FUN! Please remember that we are here to have fun. With the setup of this indoor tournament there might be crazy things happen when the ball is in play. Remember to please relax and let the umpires make the calls. Do not yell at the umpires.
  2. No Metal Cleats allowed
  3. No Sunflower seeds or gum
  4. Only water is allowed on the playing field. No colored drinks like Gatorade are allowed.
  5. Time Limits: All games will have 70-minute time limit finish the inning. Pool Games can end it a tie. Bracket games that are tied will be played with international rules. If there’s a 2nd extra inning, you will start with runners on 2nd and 3rd. If there’s a 3rd extra inning start with bases loaded. Both teams will bat in extra innings until a winner is declared.
  6. Ceiling – If the ball hits the ceiling, whether fair or foul, it is live and can be caught for an out before touching the ground. If caught runners may be doubled up if off base. If the ball hits the ceiling and is not caught it is a FOUL BALL.
  7. Side Nets: A batted ball is foul if hit into the side net or off wall in foul territory.
  8. Run Rule: 10 Runs after 3 innings, 8 runs after 4 innings and 6 runs after 5 innings
  9. Be ready to play: All teams should be ready to play 30 minutes before estimated times posted. If a game ends early due to run rule, we will start the next game early, 5 minutes after the previous game ends.
  10. Overthrow: Overthrows off the wall or net will be played live unless, a live ball gets caught in the netting or goes out of the field of play, umpires will award two bases (base you’re going to plus one)
  11. Softballs: Regular softballs will be used
  12. Courtesy Runners: Will be allowed for Pitcher and catchers. Last Completed at bat if roster batting or a sub that hasn’t played if not roster batting.