2021 Tournament Rules

USA Softball rules for Invitational events will be used for our events with the following additions.

SOFTBALLS:

Softballs for tournament game play will be provided by Firecracker Sports (ProNine 47 12 SC Model). 

HOME/AWAY

A coin toss administered by the umpire or the site supervisor at each field will be used to determine home team for each game.

DUGOUT:

All dugout selections are based upon a first come first serve basis; any disputes will be determined by the site supervisor and tournament officials, if needed. 

PRE GAME WARMUPS: 

There is no pre-game infield outfield allowed in these events. We do allow for warmups on the outfield and batting cages where facilities are not hindered by preparations for the next game. 

LINEUP CARDS:

  • Each team will be provided their own lineup cards for each game and these are the ones that will be submitted. 
  • Lineup cards must be completely filled out with players first name, last name, position and accurate jersey number. All subs should be listed with accurate jersey numbers as well.
  • A copy MUST be given to the opposing team’s Head Coach along with our site supervisor for your game prior to the first pitch of that game. This policy is strictly enforced as the site supervisors will be in charge of keeping the official lineup cards, score and details of our events.

START TIME/FORFEITS:

  • Only a 15 minute grace period is allowed for a team who cannot field 9 players at the start of a game. Once the grace period expires, a forfeit will be issued. (The score will be determined as 1 run allowed per inning for a full game played, for example 7-0 for 7 innings).
  • Any team that forfeits a game because of lack of players in attendance for their scheduled game or for lack of arrival on time (45 minutes prior to game or their scheduled start time) will be banned for 2 years from any future tournaments at that point (Updated: 7/1/2016)

TIME LIMITS:

There is a 1 hour and 30 minute (90 minutes) time limit on all games except for the championship games. This rule means that no inning can start after 90 minutes, it is NOT drop-dead timing. This allows the tournament to stay on track for the entire day. We do allow extra innings, as long as the time limit is still in play. We, at Firecracker Softball want to see all ties broken WHEN possible so “Firecracker Softball” extra-inning rule will begin in 8th inning (see details, rule) if it is within the time limit.

DEFINITION OF AN OFFICIAL GAME: 

Our events can be impacted by weather and field conditions from time to time. Our games are based on time (1.5 hour time limits, while most games finish complete, we can NOT base this decision on an official game based on innings). Any game that has played more than 1 hour (66%) of the time allocated will be determined official and final. No games will be suspended, made up or rescheduled at that time frame. Any game that is suspended before the 1 hour, will be ATTEMPTED to be rescheduled and picked up from point of delay. If a game is determined official and the inning is NOT complete, we will revert back to the last complete inning played for score, stats and determination of winner/loser or a tie. This decision is finalized with Tournament officials to maintain safe, proper and efficient field conditions and event schedules.

FOOTWEAR:

Players participating in the age divisions (14U and older) are allowed to wear metal spikes unless dictated by the facility where the event is being hosted (i.e. turf complex, etc). 

STARTING LINEUPS:

Any team can start 9, 10, or 11 players. The lineup must stay with the same number of batters for the entire game. Once the first pitch has been thrown the lineup is locked and the lineup can NOT be reduced or added. If a player gets hurt and there are no substitutes available, that team will occur an out in that injured player’s spot in the lineup.

The 10th and 11th hitter, if used, will be designated as an Extra Hitter and Super Hitter in the lineup. The EH and Super Hitter may bat at any spot in the order. The EH and SH is the same as any position on the field as far as substitutions are concerned. 

A team may use the designated player, DP/Flex option as well.  The DP may re-enter once.  If the Flex player bats for the DP and the DP returns, the flex player may stay in the field.

MERCY RULES:

There is a mercy rule for our Firecracker Sports events.

  • 12 runs after 3 innings
  • 10 runs after 4 innings
  • 8 runs after 5 innings

The home team (if losing) must bat in the mercy rule inning.  If the home team is winning, the game ends when the home team scores to reach the mercy rule differential.

PLAYING RULES:

  • USA Softball of RI rules for Invitational events will be used throughout the tournament with the following additions.
  • Courtesy Runners are allowed for Pitcher and Catcher ONLY! Must be player on your bench or last out.
  • ALL substitutions and changes must go through the home plate umpire & the official scorer at each field.
  • Mound visits are limited to 1 per inning. After 1st visit, each time the coach visits the mound in that same inning, the pitcher needs to be replaced.
  • Slashing is allowed in this event. 
  • Players coaching bases and on-deck batters must wear batting helmets.

FIRECRACKER SOFTBALL EXTRA-INNING RULE: (Only when within time limit for pool play or game will be determined a tie; all playoff/championship games will start with this rule in the 8th inning)

  • 8th inning: Runner on 2nd with no outs (Runner on 2nd was last batter of previous inning).
  • 9th inning: Runner on 1st and 2nd with no outs (Runners on 1st& 2nd were last 2 batters of previous innings, placed accordingly i.e. last batter on 1st base and previous batter on 2nd base).
  • 10th inning: Runners on 1st, 2nd and 3rd with no outs (Runner on 1st, 2nd& 3rd were last 3 batters of previous inning, placed accordingly i.e. last batter on 1st, previous batter on 2nd base and so on).

COACH’S ATTIRE:

All coaches must be professionally dressed. We do not allow coaches on the field in flip flops or beach attire. You will be confined to the dugout by the umpires; site supervisor(s) or tournament administration. NO EXCEPTIONS!

EJECTIONS:

Any coach or player that is ejected from a game is automatically suspended for the next game of the tournament.

FORFEITS/CANCELATIONS:

Any team that forfeits a game because of lack of players in attendance for their scheduled game or for lack of arrival on time (45 minutes prior to game or 15 minutes grace period from the scheduled start time) will be banned for 2 years from any future tournaments at that point (Updated: 7/1/2016)

PROTESTS:

Any protests will be handled at the time of incident. We do NOT charge for protests like other organizations, if there is an issue we would like to resolve it for the greater good of the game of softball. There are site supervisors at all fields and will handle any protests brought by a manager and will decide in a timely and appropriate manner.

WEATHER POLICY/CANCELATIONS (Updated 9.1.21)

Due to unforeseen issues or mother nature, there are times games will be canceled because of rain, thunderstorms and poor field conditions beyond our control here at Firecracker Sports. We will always try our best to get games in, move games around so EVERYONE has the same opportunity as others in our events but in this case, this does NOT happen, our policy is in place to protect our products and your programs.

  • No Games Played = Full Credit towards 2021/2022 events
  • 1 Game Played = $500 Credit towards 2021/2022 events
  • 2 Games Played = $250 Credit towards 2021/2022 events
  • 3 or more Games Played = No Refund

ALL OTHER MATTERS/ISSUES:

In the event there is a rule or an issue not covered in these guidelines, Firecracker Sports Officials will have the final decision authority in those matters. Understanding and making sure the overall tournament experience is maintained in a first class, highest quality experience for all student athletes, coaches and families is our ultimate goal in all matters.

TIE-BREAKER SYSTEM (for advancing from pool play to playoffs):

  1. Overall Record (if all teams have played the same amount of games. If event is impacted by weather, we will use winning percentage instead of overall record)
  2. Head to Head (if 2 teams only)
  3. Runs allowed
  4. Run Differential
  5. Runs scored
  6. Coin flip