Invitational Tournament Rules

The following rules apply to all USA Softball of RI sanctioned tournaments:
- Invitational Class "A"
- Invitational Class "B"
- Invitational "Open" 

These rules do not apply to the USA Softball of RI State Tournament or College Showcase tournaments.

** If not specified below, this tournament will follow the USA Softball rule book

Team Lineups

Nine defensive players will bat or teams have the following options:

1. Bat nine players without the DP/Flex.

2. Bat nine Players and use the DP/Flex.

3. Bat up to and including all roster players without a DP/Flex.

4. Bat up to and including all roster players with the DP/Flex.


- Players not listed in a defensive position will be listed as an "EP"

- EPs will be listed beginning in the 10th spot of the batting order

- When not using the DP/FLEX any 9 can play defense

- When using the DP/FLEX any 8 and the FLEX can play defense 

- The Batting order will always remain fixed 

- Any Player may be used as a courtesy runner for the pitcher or catcher 

- Any Player can be used as a pinch runner for an injured player 

If a player is on base when it is their time to bat: 
  They will be removed from the base and take their turn at bat. 
  The person who they are running for will be called out. 

When only batting nine defensive players or using the DP/FLEX: 
  If an injured player is not able to bat an out will be recorded for their turn at bat unless the team has a substitute not already in the batting order that can take their place

When batting more than nine defensive players and have no available substitutes 
  If an injured player is not able to bat in their place in the batting order, the batting order will be compressed to the number of batters in the batting order less the injured player with no out recorded for the injured player unable to bat. 
  An injured player cannot return to the game in which she was injured.

When the Flex is put into the game to hit and the DP is removed from the batting order 

(DP/Flex)
The DP is listed in the batting order and hits, the Flex plays defense and is listed last in the order

 

REPORTABLE CHANGES

When batting the entire lineup and NOT using a DP/Flex:
  A)  A pinch runner for an injured player 
  B)  Courtesy runners for the pitcher/catcher (It cannot be the same courtesy runner for both the pitcher and the catcher) 
  C)  Whenever the lineup is condensed because a player has left the game

When Batting the entire lineup and using the DP/Flex:
  A)  All of the changes noted above, and whenever the Flex is put in to bat and the DP is removed
  
When NOT batting the entire lineup and NOT using a DP/Flex:
  A)  Any available substitute put into the game 
  B)  Any player that is re-entered into the game 
  C)  Any available substitute that is a courtesy runner for the pitcher or catcher 

When NOT batting the entire order and using a DP/Flex:
  A)  Any available substitute put into the game
  B)  Any player that is re-entered into the game 
  C)  Any available substitute that is a courtesy runner for the pitcher or catcher


Note:
The "EP" rule allows any of the players in the batting order to play anywhere on defense.  When you have no DP / FLEX any nine can play defense and when you use the DP / FLEX any eight plus the FLEX may play defense. These are not substitutions, it is just playing defense. The only time a EP becomes a substitute is when they run as a pinch runner. Then they can do that twice and no longer be a runner but still bat. Players that can be run for are the pitcher, catcher, or an injured player.

Example:
Ryan is the 3rd hitter and get a hit. Johnson is the 12th hitter and goes in to run. Ryan has left but still would bat in their position and Johnson is tied to Ryan as a pinch runner. Ryan comes up again and gets another hit and Johnson runs again. After that Ryan can no longer have a pinch runner and Johnson can no longer run

 

Determining Home Team

USA Softball rules state that the home team is decided by a coin flip in all games. If a tournament director wants to award home team designation in bracket play based on the higher seed, it must be communicated in the tournament flyer, and in the "tournament notes" section when a tournament is applied for via the USA Softball New England Tournament website

 

Time Limits

80-minute time limit (no new inning starts after 80 minutes).  Pool play games (only) may end in a tie.  Bracket games, tied at the end of 7 innings or after the time limit has expired, will use the International Tie Breaker to determine a winner.  The 80-minute time limit is for all games, (pool play and bracket), except for the championship game which is an untimed game

Should rain or the threat there of require games to be shortened in order to complete the tournament, the following method will be used to shorten games:
 Games will be shortened to 5 innings, (4 and 1/2 if the home team is ahead), OR no new inning will begin after 60 minutes, whichever comes first.

 

Defensive Players

All divisions— Nine defensive players. 


Metal Cleats

In Invitational tournaments, a tournament director may ban the use of metal cleats if they desire, but if this is the policy, it must be stated in the tournament flyers, and in the "tournament notes" section when a tournament is applied for via the USA Softball Northeast Region Tournament website.  
If a tournament bans metal cleats and a player/players are discovered wearing them, player/players will be removed from the game until such time that replacement cleats can be obtained. Should removed players result in the offending team being shorthanded, the USA Softball shorthanded rule will be put in effect. 

 

Slashing

In invitational tournaments, a tournament director may ban slashing if they desire, but if that is their policy, it must be stated in the tournament flyers, and in the "tournament notes" section when a tournament is applied for via the USA Softball New England Tournament website. In a tournament where slashing has been banned, the penalty for a batter that slashes is as follows:  
 A dead ball will be called by the umpire, the batter will be declared out, and all base runners will be returned to the base that they had previously occupied when the slashing occurred.


Seeding From Pool Play

Seeding from pool play into bracket play is determined by the following:

  1. Best winning percentage 

  2. Most wins 

  3. Head to head (head to head tie breaker does not apply in situations when 3 or more teams are tied with the same record

  4. Runs allowed

  5. Runs For

  6. Coin flip

In tournaments that are uneven in number that necessitate a team playing an extra game in order to ensure that all teams get their allotted number of pool play games, the game will not count for the team that plays a 4th game. The team playing the 4th game does not get to pick and choose which of the 4 games is used for seeding as seeding will be done off of that team's first 3 games.  For a game in progress in pool play that is subsequently forfeited due to a team falling below the required number of players, if the team ahead receives the forfeit, the score remains as is when the forfeit occurs, despite the inning. Should the team that is losing receive the forfeit, they would be credited with the win, and runs allowed would count for seeding purposes.  When rain prohibits the completion of pool play and a number of teams do not get all of their pool play games in, seeding will be done as follows: Example, in a ten team tournament, 6 teams play all three pool play games, and 4 teams only get to play two pool play games. Seeding from pool play into bracket will be off of all teams first two games in pool play. Teams that did play their 3 pool play games do not get to pick and choose which of their 2 of their 3 games are used towards seeding, the first two games will be used.