2018 Tournament Rules
For game play, we will follow NFHS (National Federation of State High School) rules with the exception of any specific in-house rules stated here and/or the Welcome Packet
- One (1) player from each team will participate in the 60 Yard Dash.
- Each participant is timed running a distance of 60 Yards.
- Time is started on the player’s first movement and stopped at the completion of 60 Yards.
- If a player has a bad start, stumbles, or falls it will not result in a rerun.
- The top four times will advance to the finals where they will race each other in a 60 Yard sprint to determine a winner.
Admission to all of the Youth Baseball Nationals games is included in the team entry fees. There will be NO GATE FEE for the event! We encourage family and friends to come to the complex to cheer on the athletes and show their support.
Age, as of APRIL 30, 2018, is the determining factor for the team’s age division. Take the oldest player on your team, determine that players age as of APRIL 30, 2018, and that is the age division your team will be required to play in.
- Eight (8) players from each team will participate in the Around The Horn competition.
- As the ball travels “around the horn” each base must be tagged or touched by any part of the player’s body, as in a force-out.
- Teams are timed on how quickly they can throw the ball “around the horn.” Best team time wins the competition.
- There will be backup balls placed at each base and outfield spot, in the case of overthrows. When a ball is overthrown to a position, then the player has the option of going after the overthrown ball or picking up one of the backup balls (with a three second penalty assessed).
- Teams will compete in reverse-order of the pool-play standings.
- Each team will receive two timed rounds. The best time from each team will be recorded. The best single time will determine a winner.
- If there is a tie, the average of both team’s times will determine the winner.
- The order will be as follows:
- Catcher starts the time by throwing to third base. Timer starts after the throw is released from the catcher’s hand.
- Third baseman receives the throw, touches his bag and proceeds to throw to second base.
- Second baseman receives the throw, touches his bag and proceeds to throw to first base.
- First baseman receives the throw, touches his bag and proceeds to throw back to the catcher.
- The catcher receives the throw, touches home plate and proceeds to throw down to second base, with the shortstop covering the bag and receiving the throw.
- The shortstop touches second base and then proceeds to throw to the right fielder.
- The right fielder receives the throw, then touches the right field circle (area provided). The right fielder then proceeds to throw back to second base, with the shortstop covering the bag again.
- The shortstop receives the throw, touches second base and then proceeds to throw to the center fielder.
- The center fielder receives the throw, touches the center field circle (area provided) and then proceeds to throw to third base.
- The third baseman receives the throw, touches his bag and proceeds to throw to the left fielder.
- The left fielder receives the throw, touches the left field circle (area provided) and then proceeds to throw home to the catcher.
- Once the catcher gathers or receives the ball, he must touch home to stop the timer.
A customized team award and individual awards will be presented to the championship and runner-up teams in each age division. In addition, customized awards will be presented to the skills competition winners.
9u-10u: One warning per PITCHER, per game before penalty
11u-15u: NO Warnings
The following dimensions will be used:
- 9U = Mound 46′ | Bases 65′
- 10U = Mound 46′ | Bases 65′
- 11U = Mound 50′ | Bases 70′
- 12U = Mound 50′ | Bases 70′
- 13U = Mound 54′ | Bases 80′
- 14U = Mound 60’6″ | Bases 90′
Game balls will be provided for all games. Teams are to bring their own practice balls and any other necessary equipment (i.e. catcher’s gear, bats, gloves, etc.). Uniforms are NOT provided at the Nationals. Teams are to provide their own uniforms. Each player on a team should have a unique number displayed on their jersey.
ONE (1) team cooler will be permitted in the dugout during game play. Additional coolers and ice chests may not be brought into the complex by parents, coaches, players or spectators. During check-in, we will provide your team with a team cooler tag. This tag must be on the team cooler at all times to be allowed inside the park or dugout.
All other baseball and safety equipment are the responsibility of each team.
Coaches have the option of batting their entire lineup (every active, rostered player) with free defensive substitutions or to hit 9 rostered players with the option of using a DH. The DH can be for any player in the Batting Line-Up. If a player is ejected and a team has no substitutes, their future at-bats will result in an automatic out.
Coaches must carry all player’s birth certificates or proof of age on person at all times throughout the tournament. If player’s age is disputed and valid proof of age cannot be produced, said player would be expelled from the tournament until proof is provided.
- One (1) player from each team will participate in the Catcher’s Pop Time.
- Each player will receive three throws in the Catcher’s Crouched Position from a person of their choice. Once the player receives the ball from behind home plate, they will then throw the ball to second base.
- Time is started when the ball touches the player’s glove in the Catcher’s Crouched Position and is stopped when the ball is received at second base.
- Any ball dropped by the catcher on the throw, or during their transfer, will not result in a redo. However, they can still complete that turn and throw the ball to second base.
- The top four times will advance to the finals where they will receive two throws each. The best single pop time from the finals will determine a winner.
Metal cleats are legal for 13u and 14u age groups ONLY. Plastic/Rubber cleats are required for all other age groups. However, metal cleats are NOT permitted on portable mounds.
- One (1) coach from each team will participate in the Coaches Fungo.
- Each participant will get 5 swings: 2 to shortstop, 2 to second base, and 1 to centerfield.
- Each target hit at SS and 2B will count for 10 point each. There will be a target in CF and the coach closest to the target will be awarded 20 points. A missed target at SS or 2B will result in a score of 0.
- The coach with the highest point total will determine a winner. If there is a tie after all participants are completed, there will be a swing off between all tied participants aiming at the CF target. Each coach will hit one ball to the CF target; the coach closest to the target will be crowned the winner.
There will be a mandatory coaches’ meeting approximately 15 minutes following opening ceremonies on Friday night. This meeting must be attended by ALL registered coaches, including assistant coaches. The coaches’ meeting will address all tournament rules, activities, and all team and personal behavior expectations. There will be a sign-in sheet at the meeting that ALL registered coaches will be required to sign acknowledging their attendance. Coach passes will be distributed to each coach after this meeting and each pass can only be obtained by that specific coach.
Courtesy runner for the pitcher and catcher allowed at any time. If substitutions exist, the courtesy runner must be a sub. If not, the courtesy runner must be the last batted out. The same runner cannot courtesy run twice in the same inning.
Managers and coaches are not required to be in uniform during the games. However, we do expect the adults on the field to be dressed appropriately. All registered coaches will receive a coaches pass during the mandatory coaches meeting on opening night. Coaches MUST be wearing their pass in the dugout at all times. Nationals tournament staff reserve the right to make an on-site pass inspection at any time. Those found to be abusing their pass are subject to expulsion from the facility.
The dropped third strike rule will apply to all age groups.
ONLY registered coaches and players are allowed on the field and inside the dugouts. Teams are NOT permitted to have a batboy/batgirl at any time. Registered coaches are required to be wearing their Nationals coach pass at all times in order to be allowed on the field of play and inside the dugouts.
2.1 In the event of rain after a game has started, a 6 inning game will be considered complete if 4 innings have been played, a 7 inning game will be considered complete if 5 innings have been played, unless the home team is ahead after 3 1/2 innings or 4 1/2 innings respectively. In this case, that game shall also be considered official. If the minimum number of innings have not been played to consider a game official, then the game will be considered suspended and will be resumed (if possible) from the point of suspension at the earliest time available.
2.2 If the schedule does not permit for the game to be resumed at the point of suspension and there have not been enough innings played to consider the game official, then the higher seed shall advance regardless of the score at the point of suspension. If the game is tied at the point of suspension, and the schedule does not permit for the game to be resumed, the higher seed shall advance.
2.3 If the championship game starts and is not able to complete, and has not reached enough innings for the game to be considered official, then the higher seed will be named champion regardless of score at the time of suspension.
do not play in to a “great” experience for those involved. For this reason, we collect data and ask for team classification when participants register for our event.
Due to the fact that team classification is considered when scheduling the pool play match-ups it is possible for some teams to have a more difficult or easier schedule than others. Therefore, one of the unique factors in seeding determination at the Nationals is a strength of schedule (SOS) factor that plays into the overall seeding of teams for the single-elimination tournament rounds. This SOS factor is based on the make-up of the A, AA, AAA and Major classified teams your team is scheduled to play against during pool play.
In determining seeding, “achievement points” (based on your team’s won/loss performance) will also be added to SOS factor to determine the final seeding. Seeding for the tournament will be posted as early as possible after the completion of all pool play games.
- Disorderly conduct and physical/verbal assault will not be tolerated and will result in expulsion from the park for the remainder of the tournament.
- Pets are not permitted at the park, except those for medical purposes.
- No carry-in food or beverage allowed.
- ONE (1) tagged, team cooler will be permitted in the dugout. Additional coolers and ice chests may not be brought into the complex by parents, coaches, players or spectators. During check-in on Friday evening, each team will be given a team cooler tag, which must be attached to your team cooler at all times to be permitted inside the complex. No other coolers allowed inside the complex.
- Loudspeakers, sound systems are prohibited.
- Private vehicles are prohibited on turf surfaces, sidewalks, service driveways and emergency zones. All vehicles must be in proper designated parking areas. Violators will be ticketed and towed at owner’s expense.
- Overnight parking is prohibited.
- Skateboards, scooters, bicycles or roller blades are prohibited.
- No hitting of golf balls.
- Glass bottles or containers are prohibited.
- Grills or cookers are prohibited, including in facility parking lots.
- Drinking of alcohol in the parking lots or bringing alcohol into the park is prohibited.
- No fireworks or any open flame is allowed.
- No soft toss against permanent fencing/netting.
The Nationals has a team of athletic trainers that will be onsite for the duration of the event. It is important to remember that our trainers are not medical doctors. They will provide basic first aid, determine the severity of injuries and make recommendations as to whether or not a player should see a doctor or go to an emergency room.
No warm-ups on the infields. All pre-game warm-ups will need to be made in the outfield grass. No soft-tossing into fences.
Home/visitor for pool play will be determined by a coin flip before the game. Higher seed has the option (choice) of home/visitor in the elimination rounds.
When a team chooses to bat the entire lineup, if a player is injured during the game, their spot in the lineup is skipped with no penalty. Once the spot in the lineup is skipped due to an injury, that player is not eligible to return to the game in any capacity.
The infield fly rule will apply to all age groups.
When issuing an intentional walk, it is not necessary to throw a pitch. Decision can simply be communicated with the umpire and the base awarded.
- One (1) player from each team will participate in the King of Swat.
- The player will receive pitches from the person of their choice.
- Each player will receive a one minute timed round to hit as many HR’s as they can. Time starts when the first pitch is thrown. Any pitches thrown after the time expires will be nullified.
- The next pitch cannot be thrown until the previous batted ball either hits the ground or clears the fence.
- The top four homerun totals from Round 1 will advance to the Championship round. A player must hit a homerun to advance to the Championship Round.
- Each player in the Championship Round will receive 45 seconds to hit as many HR’s as they can. Time starts when the first pitch is thrown. Any pitches thrown after the time expires will be nullified.
Leads/stealing is allowed in all age divisions.
Only BPF 1.15 stamped bats, BB-COR bats, USA bats, and wood bats are legal for game play for 9U-13U. The 14U age group has the same standards for bats, except all bats used for game play must be a weight drop of -5 or heavier. Only BB-COR and wood bats with a weight drop of -3 or heavier are legal for 15U game play. Any violation of this rule will result in the batter with the illegal bat being called out and the head coach to be ejected for that game. Any bat questions are up to tournament direction discretion. Due to player safety, multiple models of DeMarini 2017 CF Zen (-8) and (-10) bats have been declared ineligible for game play. For a complete list of these illegal bats, please see the following link: http://www.demarini.com/en-us/
If lightning is visible, and is determined to be within a 6 mile radius of the park, the game shall be suspended until it is determined that the lightning has moved a safe distance away. This determination will be made by the medical staff and tournament directors utilizing technology and instruments that measure lightning distance. We may ask that all participants and fans leave the park facilities if it is deemed the lightning is too close. All communications concerning lightning will be relayed via our text messaging service.
1. At least one (1) participant from each team will participate in the 9 Hole competition. If your roster is larger than 11 players, then the remaining players on your roster that are not competing in any other skills competition will be required to compete in the 9 Hole competition.
2. The 9 Hole competition is a throwing accuracy event. Players will throw towards a special net with 9 pockets, 3 rows top to bottom, 3 pockets in each row. Each participant will get 5 tosses towards the net from the pitching distance of their respective age group. For instance, the 9U and 10U age groups will throw from a distance of 46’, the 11U and 12U age groups will throw from a distance of 50’, the 13U age group will throw from a distance of 54’ and the 14U and 15U age groups will throw from a distance of 60’6”. Points will be awarded depending on which designated point pocket the throws land in.
3. For teams with more than one participant in the 9 Hole competition, the average score of all participants of that team will be used to determine the team’s score.
4. The team with the highest score will be declared the winner. If there is a tie, then those teams that are tied will play another round until a winner is determined. In successive, tie-breaker rounds only 3 tosses will be allowed.
The parent or legal guardian of every rostered player will need to complete and sign the Parental Waiver and Release of Liability form located on the team portal page on this website. Once this form has been completed and signed by ALL the parents of rostered players, it needs to be uploaded.
Parking is FREE and available at designated areas. Be prepared to arrive early should you need to walk from parking lot to baseball field. Limited shuttle service will be available, but we cannot guarantee that the shuttle will be available for your party when you arrive at the park. We are not responsible for any damaged vehicles, theft or loss of property.
Once a pitcher has been removed from the pitching position, he cannot re-enter as the pitcher.
There are no pitching limitations at the Nationals, coaches discretion. We expect all coaches to use good faith in how they utilize their pitchers and the amount of innings and pitches thrown throughout the tournament. Although we do not enforce any specific pitching limitations we expect that all coaches have their own reasonable limitations built in for each of their player’s arms to protect them from overuse.
A team can start with just 8 players ONLY if all other rostered players are injured, sick or otherwise incapacitated. That team will be allowed to bat only 8 with no penalty. If the number of players dips below 8, then an automatic out shall be recorded for those spots in the lineup less than 8.
1.1 In the event of rain after a game has started, a 6 inning game will be considered complete if 4 innings have been played, a 7 inning game will be considered complete if 5 innings have been played, unless the home team is ahead after 3 1/2 innings or 4 1/2 innings respectively. In this case, that game shall also be considered official. If the minimum number of innings have not been played to consider a game official, then the game will be considered suspended and will be resumed (if possible) from the point of suspension.
1.2 If the schedule does not permit for the game to be resumed (at the point of suspension), then that game will be considered cancelled. Cancelled pool play games will not be rescheduled.
1.3 If a game is suspended, but enough innings have been played to consider the game official, and the game is tied at the point of suspension, then that game will stand as a tie. This is the ONLY situation in which a game can end in a tie (as tie-breaker rules are used for games not suspended due to weather).
There are no designated practice areas at the Ocean Springs Sports Complex. However, teams are welcome to utilize any of the open areas at their discretion. There are batting cages available on-site at the complex. The batting cages should ONLY be used by teams yet to play their scheduled game for that day. If your team has completed all of their scheduled games for the day, then we ask that you refrain from using the cages for the remainder of that day to allow for other teams to prepare for their games.
There are no protests allowed. Coaches have the right, at any time, to call a Director to a field for a rules interpretation (Director Call). This does not include JUDGMENT CALLS made by the umpires. This action is to be taken in lieu of protests. In order to properly handle each Director Call, play must be stopped and the Director must be called BEFORE the next pitch. If the disputed call involves the last play of the game, the protesting team must appeal before the umpires leave the confines of the field.
Ages 9U through 12U play 6 innings for a regulation game. Ages 13U and 14U play 7 innings for a regulation game.
A Run rule will be enforced for all games, including both pool play and elimination games. The run rule shall be 12 runs after 3 innings, 10 runs after 4 innings or 8 runs after 5 innings. If the home team is behind at the point of the defined run rule, they will still get their last at-bat. If the home team is ahead by the run rule they will not bat in the bottom-half of that respective inning. For example, if the home team is already ahead by 10 runs after 3 1/2 innings, they will not bat in the bottom half of the 4th inning and the game will be official.
A slash bunt (aka “butcher boy”) is illegal in the 9U-10U age divisions. The player will be called out immediately if the play is attempted. A slash bunt is defined as a player showing bunt at any time during the pitch and then swinging at that same pitch. This is a legal play for ages 11U through 15U.
Must slide/avoid contact. A player must slide or attempt to avoid contact on all close plays (umpire discretion). If, in an umpire’s judgment, there is intentional contact, that umpire may call the runner out on that play. If the contact is judged as intentional and malicious, that umpire may also eject the player from the game.
Head first sliding is permitted only into first, second, or third base. Head first sliding IS NOT allowed into home plate if there is a play at home plate. If there is a play at home and the baserunner slides head first then that player shall be called out automatically. However, if a player slides head first into home and there was no play at the plate then the team will receive one warning, but no automatic out will be called (umpire discretion on if there was a play at home). Any future head first slides at home will be an automatic out regardless if there was a play at the plate or not.
Re-entry rule (if not batting entire lineup): Starters may re-enter in the same offensive spot once. Substitutes cannot re-enter the game once they have been removed.
All coaches, both head coaches and assistant coaches, will be required to sign the Coaches Code of Conduct. This form is located on the team portal page on this website. Once the form is completed, it will need to be uploaded.
During opening ceremonies and the parade of teams, you will want for your team to be led onto the field holding a team banner. We suggest a 3′ x 5′ banner size.
Each team is required to carry its own general liability and accident medical insurance with minimum general liability of $2,000,000 and minimum accident medical of $100,000. These amounts are below the standard threshold of insurance offered through organizations such as USSSA, BPA, Nations Baseball, etc so it’s likely you already have this coverage in place for your team. Each team will be required to submit a certificate of insurance to our baseball operations staff. The certificate must have Athletx Sports Group, LLC listed as additionally insured in the following format:
Athletx Sports Group, LLC
11221 Plantside Dr
Louisville, KY 40299
Once you have the certificate prepared by your insurance carrier, your certificate should be uploaded to our baseball operations center through the team portal page on this website.
The Nationals official team rosters are to be completed on the provided official roster (Microsoft Excel) document that can be downloaded at the team portal page on this website. Each roster will need to be completed, saved and then uploaded.
The time limit will start when the first warmup pitch is thrown. No new inning may start after the time limit elapses. The standard time limit for all age groups is 1 hour and 45 minutes. There is no time limit for the championship games. Nationals tie-break rules will apply should a pool play game be tied at the end of the time limit or at the end of the regulation innings. If a game is tied after a completed time limit or regulation innings, one extra inning will be played. If the game is tied after the extra inning, then the game will conclude in a tie. Nationals tie-break rules do not apply to elimination round games. However, time limits will apply in the elimination round up until the championship games on Championship Thursday.
- A minimum of one (1) and maximum of four (4) participants from each team will participate in the Velo Across the Diamond. If a team has more than one (1) participant, only the player with the highest MPH Velo will result in points scored for their team.
- Each participant will get 3 attempts to field a groundball rolled to them, by a person of their choice, and throw it to a target at first base.
- Every throw will have an “Exit Velocity” in Miles Per Hour (MPH). The throw must hit the target in order for it to count.
- Any ball dropped by the player on the throw, or during their transfer will not result in a redo. However, they can still complete that turn and throw the ball to the target.
- The player with the single highest MPH Velo will determine a winner. If there is a tie after all participants, an additional round(s) will continue with 2 throws each until a winner is determined.
1. Our first priority is always to make sure each team plays it’s minimum number of scheduled games. Should weather push back the start of games we will push back those start times well into the night if necessary. Most days the original schedule calls for the latest games of the day to start at 4pm. However, we will start games as late as 11pm if necessary. Please be prepared to play late into the night should rain push back the start of games for that day. If we have to play late into the night and event the early morning hours to get games in, we will!
— 2.1. We may need to cancel activities scheduled earlier in the day on Championship Thursday if impending weather dictates that we play the championship games earlier to get them in.
4. We will post schedule changes, alerts and updates on the Game Day section of our website.
No games played: 100% credit towards the next calendar year’s Nationals
1 game played: 30% credit towards the next calendar year’s Nationals
2 games played: 15% credit towards the next calendar year’s Nationals
3 or more games played: No credit or refund