TOURNAMENT RULES & GUIDELINES
FYI - There are
certain AWS/NCS directors and tournaments that will have special or different
rules and awards depending on the region/location and type of tournament.
Please check the tournament website or with the tournament director of the
event you are playing.
Some of our special
events include but are not limited to: Memorial events, Midnight Madness, Las
Vegas Worlds, BONEYARD BLAST, Dublin Dirty,Toys-4-Tots, Clean softball, etc. Most of these events sell out fast, get
payment in before we are sold out or you may not make it into our events.
- Teams must register annually
here at our website. Once you are registered, you as the manager can
create and edit your team(s). The annual $50 registration fee is
- Teams must add an online roster
before they play in their first event. If you do not add your roster, a
$50 fee will be added to your entry fee. We will request you email us your
roster well before the tournament and we will input it for you. If not,
you will keep getting charged each event.
- Some of our special events may
require a deposit or full payment in advance. These payments are
non-refundable unless you withdraw from the event well before the
deadline, we cannot get you in the tournament or an agreement is made to
refund your money.
- Standard Tournament: All teams
must pay any balance owed IN CASH along with turning in a printed and
signed on-line roster/waiver before taking the field. If we do not receive
full payment and a signed roster/waiver at game time or deadline, you will
forfeit… PERIOD! If your roster is not online by the cut-off date, you
will owe a $50 fee for us having to add your roster ourselves. If
you need roster help, please contact Customer Support
at email@example.com / Dani at 916-919-5677.
Special Note: (Confirming teams)
If we reach out to
teams and you do not get back to us in a timely manner, we reserve the right to
pull you out of any event that you have not made payment for. Please make sure
we have your proper email and cell phone.
MENS, WOMENS, and COED
(make sure you are legal for NCS/AWS Events. Please contact us if you
feel you might be in violation of playing in a division you should not be, and
we will help!)
HERE" to visit our AWS Team & Player Rankings along with our run spot info
- OPEN DIVISIONS – No player
- C DIVISON - No more than
(3) “B” players MAX (no “A” or higher ranked players allowed)
- D DIVISION – No more than (3)
C players, or you can choose to have just 1 C and 1 B player for
standard events. For World Series play No B or Higher players allowed.
- E DIVISION – No more than (3)
“D” players MAX (no “C” or higher ranked players allowed)
- REC DIVISION – No more
than (3) “E” players MAX (no “D” or higher ranked players allowed)
TEAM AND PLAYER
RANKINGS AND ELIGIBILITY
use AWS Rankings first and if not ranked with AWS we
will use the current year's Highest USSSA roster to determine what a player is
ranked for our tournaments. For example, if a player is currently on
"D" roster for their gender specific team but on a “C” roster for
their COED team, they will be ranked "C" for our event in all
divisions (the only exception would be if they started the year on
"D" COED team but were bumped by USSSA after June 1Also of note, if
there is a player NOT on a USSSA roster this season, we will revert to the
previous year/year's rankings. (Military, Black American, Native
American, and Senior rosters do not count against you in standard “D” & “E”
Men's, Women's, and COED divisions)
PLAYER / TEAM RANKING LIST always supersedes USSSA Roster Rules, Team and Player Rankings) Check
our list before entering events Make sure you are legal
All Players must be
able to show a legal photo ID at all times (must be 18 years of age or older).
You must have your photo ID on yourself, in your bat bag, or on the
park/complex’s property. In some circumstances, we will allow a player to make
a run to their car in the parking lot but will not allow any travel or a wait
time of over 3 min or so.
Driver’s License is
what we use for determining Men's or Women's eligibility - If DL states male
or nonbinary, player is only allowed to play as a man for our events, If
DL states female, player is only allowed to play as a woman for our events etc.
BE PREPARED TO SHOW
YOUR ID AT ANY TIME! BE LEGAL FOR THE DIVISION YOU’RE PLAYING IN! WE WILL NOT
ACCEPT ANY CHEATING! YOU WILL BE KICKED OUT OF THE EVENT IF YOU’RE CAUGHT!
ILLEGAL TEAMS and/or PLAYERS AND TEAMS THAT GET EJECTED FROM OUR TOURNAMENTS
ARE NOT ELLIGIBLE FOR ANY TYPE OF REFUND!
SANDBAGGING: If we find out
you are only an ASA, NSA, etc. team and you sandbag into a lower division, we
may decide to remove you from our event at any time. PLEASE PLAY IN THE
DIVISION EQUAL TO YOUR RANKING IN THE ASSOCIATION YOU PLAY IN REGULARLY. (i.e.,
if you are a "D" team in ASA, you should be playing "D" in
our AWS tournaments. If you feel you cannot compete at the same level, email for
and players may petition for reclass at any time:
must be done by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
HOW TO CHECK PLAYER
- You will want to first check
here at our AWS PLAYER RANKINGS. If the player is not listed on our site, then go
to USSSA.com on your computer go into slowpitch site and
check for athletes or player search section.
- Should your team withdraw for
any reason once the team has been entered, the cancellation/withdrawal
must occur prior to the tournament being “SOLD OUT” or prior to the
brackets/game times being posted on the association's website or no later
than 5 pm on the Wednesday prior to the tournament.
- An email sent or voice mail
left must be confirmed by the respective tournament
director. Until the director responds to and/or confirms your
cancellation, your team is still in the tournament.
- Should your team cancel after
the specifications listed above, your team is still responsible for the
entire entry fee of said tournament unless a replacement team can be
found. There will be a $50 charge to all teams dropping even though a
replacement team was found.
- Unpaid entry fees will result
in the team and each individual player being placed on our associations’
Suspended Lists until payment is made in full. Manager is responsible for
payment. If player wants to be removed from suspension, they can pay their
share of 10% of total amount owed
In the case of State,
Regional, National, NIT, Midnight Madness, Toys-4-Tots, and/or World events,
brackets may be drawn up to two (2-3) weeks in advance. In situations
such as these specialty events, team withdrawals must occur prior to entry
deadline or completion of bracket whatever comes first.
Thank you in advance for your cooperation by
notifying all tournament directors well in advance should your team withdraw
from a tournament.
All teams agree to our
rules upon entering our tournaments.
STANDARD GAME TIMES /
START OF PLAY
- 60 minutes (championship game
is 60 minutes)
- Some events may have longer or
shorter game times so please the check the specific event website/page or
director before the start of play
- All teams must be prepared to
play 15 minutes before your scheduled game time. If the other team is
ready to go and you are not, there could be a forfeit so be there 15 min
early and ready to play
- The Tournament Director
reserves the right to modify game times, playing locations, or tournament
structure due to field conditions, time constraints, safety issues, team
count, or inclement weather
- Shall consist of seven innings,
or the end of the time limit, or the end of the innings advertised.
- In pool play there will always
be a coin flip to determine home team throughout the tournament until
playoffs or the championship game, at this point higher seed will have the
choice to be visitor or home team. If one of the teams is undefeated and
the other team has (1) loss or more, the undefeated team would get the
choice of home or visitor.
RUN SPOTTING (we do not run spot or mix divisions
at World Events)
- When a lower-level team plays a
higher ranked team the homerun rule will be leveled
- The full number of runs spotted
will be given at the start of game and not per inning (typically 6 runs
per division we may choose more or less runs if director feel its
- We do not allow teams that are
two or more divisions higher to play any of our E or REC teams
In most of our events,
we will not combine divisions. If we do combine divisions to get enough to have
a competitive tournament and we end up having more than 1 upper-level team,
they will play a separate playoff/championship game. If there ends up being
just 1 upper-level team in the tournament or 1 team in your division, the said
team may not be eligible for championships or awards and can only play in our
pool play portion of the event.
If only 1 team is
entered in your division, you may only be allowed play in the pool play portion
of our event.
Teams of higher level
will spot lower teams runs in pool play - then play only other teams entered in
the same division for playoffs/championships -
If 3 or less rec teams are in a
division, you may have to play E teams the entire event and be spotted runs. If we get enough in each division, we will not mix divisions.
- There will be no team jumping
at the same tournament
- Men can only play on (1) Men’s
team (Open, D or E) and (1) Coed team (Open, D or E) but can also play in
the 40’s division as well. Men cannot play in the women’s
- Women can only play on (1)
Women’s team and (1) Coed team (Open, D or E). Women cannot play
in the men's division.
*** players caught
jumping teams will be ejected from the tournament, game will be forfeited, and
the team in question may also be kicked out of tournament! ***
Please check tournament Page/Website for
specific HR rules for tournament entered.
- MENS OPEN – 10
- MENS C - 6
- MENS D – 4
- MENS E – 2
- MENS REC - 1
- WOMENS OPEN - 5
- WOMENS C - 3
- WOMENS D – 1
- WOMENS E - 0
- COED OPEN – 7
- COED D – 3
- COED C - 5
- COED E -2
- COED REC - 1
RUN / MERCY RULE
- 20 after 3 innings / 15 after 4
innings / 10 after 5 innings (“C” and above divisions will be 12 runs
after 5 innings, FLIP FLOP RULE is in effect)
- POOL PLAY ONLY…. For seeding
purposes, the max run differential is 15 runs.
- Ties will be broken in the
- Best record
- Head-to-head with only 2 teams tied
- Runs allowed
- Runs scored
- NCS points ranking
- Automated coin flip
- All games that are tied at the
end of the time limit or allotted innings in pool play will end in a tie.
- The home team and the umpire
are responsible for working together to keep an accurate score.
- If the home team does not have
a complete book but the visiting team does, we will have the umpire
coordinate with the visiting team to keep the accurate score. (Umpire has
- All teams must have 8 players
to start the game
- To add a player, they must
arrive before their turn in the lineup and be on roster. If you must play
shorthanded, no automatic out will be given
EXTRA HITTER(s) (E.H.)
- Teams can bat as many players
as there are on your roster but must finish the game with same amount you
start with or take an out for players who do not finish.
- The opposing team and umpire
must have the right to know how many you are batting.
- MENS AND WOMENS TEAMS – There is one courtesy runner allowed per inning.
This can be any player on the team roster, and it does not count as a
substitution move. If your courtesy runner is on base when it is their
time to hit, you would have to take an out UNLESS you have a sub on the
bench that can substitute in for the original batter that the courtesy
runner came in to run for. That would then remove the courtesy runner from
the bag without penalty and they could hit in their place in the lineup.
- COED TEAMS – We allow one courtesy runner per inning….
per gender…. Men must run for men and women must run for women. This can
be any player on the team roster, and it does not count as a substitution
move. If your courtesy runner is on base when it is their time to hit, you
would have to take an out UNLESS you have a sub of the same gender on
the bench that can substitute in for the original batter that the courtesy
runner came in to run for. That would then remove the courtesy runner from
the bag without penalty and they could hit in their place in the lineup.
COED SPECIFIC RULES
- Coed teams must play at least
equal number of women as men (4M/4W, 5M/5W, 6M/6W, etc.) but can play more
women than men. Never more men than women.
- Women will hit the small ball
- The pitching area shall be the
area the width of the pitcher’s mound (usually 24 inches) up to six 6 feet
behind the back edge of the pitcher’s mound
- Pitchers must wear a protective
- Before the first pitch, the
batter has automatic time out until he or she is set in the box
(1 pitch only)
- Pitchers have 5 seconds to
release the ball after presenting
- Pitchers may pitch from up to 6
feet behind the rubber but must come set before release
- Each at bat starts will be a 1
ball – 1 strike count with no extra fouls
- A strike zone will be used with
- The height restrictions will be
a minimum of 4 feet from the ground up to a maximum of 10 feet from the
- Pumping/juking will be allowed
except in our REC division
- A caught foul ball on the 3rd
strike is a live ball. The play is not dead, and runners can try and
- A pitcher will not be allowed
to use tape or any other substance, including a glove, upon the pitching
hand or fingers of their pitching hand
- No foreign substance can be
applied to the ball at any time
- At the start of a game or when
a pitcher relieves another pitcher, not more than one minute may be used
to deliver not more than (3) practice pitches to the catcher or some other
MOTIONS THAT ARE ALLOWED IN ACTUAL DELIVERY OF THE PITCH
- After assuming the pitching
position on the pitcher’s mound or in the pitching area, the pitcher must
present the ball in FRONT OF HIS BODY (for at least one second) in either
one or both hands before starting the delivery motions. (Note: All
pitching rules that apply to the pitcher’s actions before and during the
release of the pitch along with the restrictions on height, speed, etc.,
shall remain the same.)
- The pitcher may hold or grip
the ball in any manner before delivery.
- Only a definite underhand
motion is permitted in the delivery of the pitch.
- The pitcher may release the
pitched ball in any manner when delivering the pitch. This includes all
types of delivery.
- After the pitcher presents the
ball, he may make any windup or arm motions desired, either in front of
his body, above his head or behind his back, including stops and pauses in
- The pitched ball must be
released within 5 seconds from the time the pitcher has the ball, and the
batter has taken his position in the batter’s box. From this point, the
umpire shall not give a call or signal for “time” unless something unusual
- The pitcher must face home
plate on delivery of pitch.
- Realizing that the pitcher does
not fool very many batters to the extent that they cannot hit the ball, it
is desired that pitchers not be handicapped by technicalities, when they
do develop a new technique or delivery that, perhaps, will add to the pleasure
and appeal to the spectators if the pitcher adheres to the basic pitching
TYPE OF PITCH
- The ball must be pitched in a
definite underhanded motion at slow speed.
- A pitched ball must have an arc
and be at least 4 feet off the ground and not rise higher than 10 feet off
the ground after leaving the pitcher’s hand and before it passes any part
of home plate.
- The speed of the pitch and
height of the pitched ball are left entirely to the judgment of the
umpire. Any doubtful pitch should be ruled as an unfairly delivered pitch.
The umpire shall warn a pitcher who delivers a pitch with excessive speed.
If the pitcher continues to deliver excessive speed pitches, this can lead
to the pitcher’s removal from the pitcher’s position for the remainder of
- A pitch that does not reach 4
feet as required (flat level pitch) may not be deemed an excessive speed
pitch but merely an unfairly delivered pitch.
- The catcher must remain in the
lines of the catcher’s box when the pitcher is in position and remain
there until a pitched ball has reached or passed home plate or is batted.
- Base distances of 70 ft are
standard (65 ft bases may be used at TD’s or parks discretion)
- Men and Women's Divisions - one
base allowed on a walk
- COED Divisions - Men take two
bases and women take one base (when walking a male, the woman
hitting behind them has the option to take a walk every time (no
BALL THROWN BY A
- If a ball thrown by a defensive
player inadvertently hits an offense player or a bat that is outside the
dugout, the closest runner to home plate is out (the on-deck batter and
bat are live and are not included in this scenario)
PLAYERS HIT WITH LIVE
BALLS OUTSIDE THE DUGOUT AREA
- If the defensive team has a
player or bat outside the dugout and they/it gets hit by thrown ball, the
ball is dead, and all runners advance one base.
- If the offensive team’s batter
or bat gets hit by a thrown ball, the closest runner to home plate is out.
ILLEGALLY BATTED BALL
- Occurs when a ball is hit fair
or foul when both feet of the batter are in contact with the ground
COMPLETELY outside the lines of the batter’s box, or when his foot is in
contact with home plate, or when the ball is batted with an illegal bat.
ILLEGALLY CAUGHT BALL
- Occurs when a fielder catches a
batted or thrown ball with a glove, a mask, a cap, or with any part of his
clothing detached from the proper position on the fielder’s body.
- Making the motions of a tag
without the ball. This may be considered obstruction and the offender may
- A batted ball that goes
directly from the bat not higher than the batter’s head (this is only an
out on the 3 strike).
- All players must stay in dugout
or in an out of play area. We allow (1) on deck hitter to be out of the
- No alcohol and/or
smoking/vaping of any kind is allowed in the dugout or in the field of
- NO Loud or vulgar music
WILL NOT BE TOLERATED
- NO “F” bombs
- NO throwing the bat
- NO taunting
- NO loud or vulgar music
inside the parks
(any violations to
these rules could result in immediate ejection from the game and/or the
- If (3) players from same team
get ejected in the same game the entire team is removed from the
- POOL PLAY – Forfeits during pool play games will be scored
as a 15-0 game in the OPEN and D
divisions and a 10-0 game in the E and REC
- BRACKET PLAY – Any forfeit in bracket play will be scored as a
7-0 game in all divisions
- Teams do not get a refund if
you run into a forfeit
DISPUTES OR PROBLEMS
- Only managers can talk to the
umpire or the director regarding issues during a game. If a manager is
unsure on a ruling from the on-field umpire, please find the tournament
director immediately. Do not wait until the game ends because it will be
too late to possibly fix the situation. (Tournament Director’s
Decision is Final)
INJURED PLAYERS AND
- Player/substitute, manager,
coach, trainer, or other team member or umpire who is bleeding or who has
an open wound shall be prohibited from participating further in the game
until the bleeding is stopped and the wound covered.
- If treatment can be
administered in a reasonable amount of time, the individual would not have
to leave the game. The amount of time is determined by the umpire’s
judgment. If excessive time is involved, the re-entry rule would apply to
- If there is an excessive amount
of blood on the uniform or if a bandage becomes blood soaked, in the
judgment of the umpire, the uniform/bandage must be changed before the
individual may participate.
- A player who exhibits signs,
symptoms, or behaviors consistent with a concussion (such as loss of
consciousness, headache, dizziness, confusion, or balance problems), we
highly recommend the player and/or coach remove them from the game and
take them to the hospital.
INJURED PLAYERS COMING
OUT OF THE GAME
- If a player gets injured and
needs to come out of the game, their next at bat will be considered an out
and all subsequent at bats will be skipped with not out taken.
EJECTED PLAYERS COMING
OUT OF THE GAME
- When a player is ejected from
the game, all their subsequent at bats will be considered outs.
- There is no penalty for
unannounced re-entry or substitutions.
- The act of an improper re-entry
is handled as a protest by the offended team. Improper re-entry is a
violation after a pitch is made. Examples of improper re-entry are:
Starter who re-enters
in an incorrect batting position.
Starter who re-enters
a second time.
A substitute who
re-enters the game.
- If an improper re-entry is
discovered by the defense while the player is playing offensively, the
following penalties will be enforced:
- If the improper re-entry is
discovered while he is at bat, player is ejected, and a proper substitute
assumes any accumulated balls and strikes.
- If the improper re-entry is
discovered after he has completed his time at bat, but before a pitch has
been made to a succeeding batter, he is called out, and the player is
ejected from the game. All base runners, if they have advanced, must
return to the base occupied at the time the improper re-entry took a
position in the batter’s box.
- If the improper re-entry is
not discovered until a pitch is made to the next batter or the improper
re-entry enters as a substitute runner, the player is ejected. All play
that occurred while the improper re-entry was in the game will stand.
- If an improper re-entry is discovered
by the offense while the player is playing defensively, the following
penalties will be enforced:
- If the improper re-entry is
discovered after he makes a play on a fair-batted ball (catch or throw)
or a play on a foul fly ball before the next pitch, revert to the
previous pitch, the batter and each base runner are advanced one base.
The improper player is ejected. If the improper re-entry is discovered
after a pitch, which did not result in a batted ball on which the
improper player made a play, the improper player is ejected (this
includes the pitcher)
THE OFFICIAL AWS BALL
- Must have All World Stamp or be marked properly (see below)
- DUDLEY is our official ball of choice. We use the optic
yellow ball…. 12-inch balls for the MEN and an 11-inch for the WOMEN. We
will supply (3) balls per team at check-in when we have determined that
all monies and rosters have been turned in.
- All Game Balls must be DUDLEY and
must be OPTIC YELLOW in color. All Dudley balls are
allowed except the ZN Stadium Ball and any 47-core ball
- If a team is caught throwing
in an illegal ball by the opposing team or umpire, the penalties will be
- 1 time – Warning /
2 time – Batter is OUT / 3 time – Game is
- Teams must throw in a ball when
your team is up to bat
- Please write your team name on
your own balls so foul balls can get returned to the correct team
- Umpires or TD have the right to
pull any ball from any game at any time. (We will return balls after
events conclusion or when team is eliminated from play) They also have the
right to make teams share balls to prevent unfair play if they feel any
balls may be at an advantage or throw in AWS balls if applicable.
ALTERED BALLS (Illegal
for AWS play)
- Any ball that has had its
original manufactured physical structure changed in any way or balls that
have been frozen, micro-waved, heated, melted, cooled, re-stitched, or the
surface has been modified to be rougher or softer, etc.
- All bats must have USSSA, NSA,
USA, or ASA stamp (No senior, baseball, or fastpitch bats allowed)
- The REC divisions can swing ASA
bats as well.
- No bat is legal for AWS play if
it is badly worn, abused, damaged, altered, or shaved. Bats shall not have
rough or sharp edges, or anything that would present a hazard.
- No bat is legal if there is an
excessive foreign substance on the barrel or taper of a bat. (i.e., too
much pine tar, stick-em type products, etc.)
- AWS Umpires or Directors
reserve the right to remove any bat we feel is altered, damaged, or made
to enhance ball/bat performance. We will take the bat for that game and
return it upon the end of the game with the mutual understanding it will
not be used for the remainder of the tournament. If the bat is caught
being used a second time, the player using the bat at that time will be
ejected from the tournament and will be asked to leave the park/complex.
If a player refuses to give up the bat for the remainder of the game,
he/she will be removed from the tournament and park/complex as well.
- Coaches of adult teams which
have multiple offenses under these rules may be suspended for failing to
have his or her team follow AWS rules.
- Metal spikes of any kind are
prohibited in AWS tournaments
- Any player may wear a
protective mask to prevent injury and is strongly recommended
- Pitchers Must wear protective
mask or helmet
- All exposed jewelry or items
that are judged to be hazardous or potentially dangerous by the umpire or
director may not be worn during the game
- Due to safety concerns, at no
time can a camera, audio, or video device be worn or used by an umpire,
player, or coach on the field of play. Any exception must be approved the
AWS Office and CEO Jay Zetz.
All players can choose to use first
baseman’s mitt at any position
- ROSTER PROTESTS REQUIRE $100
CASH AND MUST BE REQUESTED BEFORE THE END OF THE GAME
These are the 3 types
of protests that we allow:
(1) player that you know is ranked higher than the allowable player matrix (i.e., a protest of a “C” player playing
illegally in the “E” division. You would point out the player in question. We
would ask for their ID and then check the player to see if they are legal or
not based on our rules)
(4) chip players that you know are above the allowable limit of chip players (i.e., a protest of a team having too
many “D” chip players playing in an “E” tournament. You would point out the (4)
players in question. We would ask for all their ID’s and then check each of
them to see if they were counted as chip players based on our rules)
roster ID check to see if all players are listed on the roster that was turned
in before the first game (this is NOT an online player ranking protest) (i.e., a
protest to prove a player playing in the game is not on the roster that was
turned in prior to the first game. We would pull the roster and ask for all the
ID’s for the players on the opposing team to make sure they are all listed on
RAIN OUTS AND OTHER
SIMILAR ACTS OF GOD
- Any rain out or similar Act of
God that causes us to have to cancel an event during tournament play will
result in a CREDIT based on the games played (i.e., If playing in a $400
4GG tournament and only (1) game gets played, a $300 credit will be issued
for a future tournament. If (2) games were played, a $200 credit, and so
on. The credit is only good for tournaments run by the same director group
and will expire if not used within (2) years of original entry date) Teams
can also choose a refund that may be prorated.
- If the game guarantee is met
for the tournament, no credits or refunds will be given.
(Once a game
starts, it is considered a played game)
- If the cancellation occurs
during the pool play portion of a tournament, no awards
will be handed out.
- If a cancellation occurs during
the bracket play portion of the tournament, awards will
be handled as follows:
- Awards will be awarded if
there is a clear-cut winner of the tournament (i.e., If there is an
undefeated team playing a team from the loser’s bracket in the
Championship game, the awards will be given as 1 for the undefeated
team and 2 to the loser’s bracket team, etc.)
- Awards will not be awarded if
there is no clear-cut winner of the tournament (i.e., If the bracket has
just started and there are multiple games remaining with no clear-cut
AWS Awards Details: (Basic events not always exact)
With 4 or less teams
its winner takes all as long as we have at least 2 teams in your division.
1st and 2nd place
prizes will be given out with 5 or more teams.
(possibly 4) place prizes will be given out with 10 to 19 teams
(possibly 5and 6) place prizes will be given out
with more than 20 team in division
- All World Sports have standard
park rules during tournament play which include but are not limited to the
- NO alcohol / NO Smoking /
NO glass containers / NO loud or vulgar music
- There are always going to be
PARK SPECIFIC rules that each city sets forth so please check the city’s
park website to check on the following additional rules:
- NO dogs at most parks - Some
parks may allow dogs on a leash so make sure you check the website to
make sure it is ok before you bring them out / NO scooters / NO bikes /
NO skateboards / NO sunflower seeds