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Baseball - Tournament Rules
Your registration fee now includes baseballs! Baseballs are provided for all pool play, playoff and championship games for the duration of the tournament!
AGE REQUIREMENTS (Spring/Summer/Fall 2022):
- 19U Division: Born on or after May 1st, 2002 or Class of 2021 or later
- 18U Division: Born on or after May 1st, 2003 or Class of 2022 or later
- 17U Division: Born on or after May 1st, 2004 or Class of 2023 or later
- 16U Division: Born on or after May 1st, 2005 or Class of 2024 or later
- 15U Division: Born on or after May 1st, 2006 or Class of 2025 or later
- 14U Division: Born on or after May 1st, 2007
- 13U Division: Born on or after May 1st, 2008
- 12U Division: Born on or after May 1st, 2009
- 11U Division: Born on or after May 1st, 2010
- 10U Division: Born on or after May 1st, 2011
- 9U Division: Born on or after May 1st, 2012
Rosters must be submitted 7 days prior to each event’s start date. Rosters can be edited anytime until the start of the first game, then they are locked for the duration of that event. If a team does NOT submit their roster prior to 7 days before an event, then the team will be penalized for that event. That team will lose 1 run per game for their overall seeding, not the games itself. For example, if Team “X” decides not to enter their roster and that event is a 4 game guarantee, they will automatically start the overall seedings with 4 runs allowed. It will not affect the games itself but their overall seeding and standings for playoffs. This is to protect the integrity of the events but also to make sure that student athletes are properly notified and displayed for their performances.
A coin toss administered by the umpire or the site supervisor at each field will be used to determine home team for each game during pool play games.
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 make allow for warmups on the outfield and batting cages where facilities are not hindered by preparations for the next game.
- Each team will be provided their own lineup cards for each game by Firecracker Sports 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.
- 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)
There is a 2-hour time limit on all games except for the championship games (This rule can be modified by Firecracker Sports if impacted by weather, field conditions or event operations). This rule means that no inning can start after 2 hours, it is NOT drop-dead timing.
For the purpose of determining if a new inning may start, the time determined at last out in the bottom of the inning is used with tournament officials and umpires. 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 Sports want to see all ties broken WHEN possible so “Firecracker Sports” tie-breaker will begin in 8th inning (see details, rule #5).
FIRECRACKER SPORTS TIE-BREAKER RULE:
Only used when within the time limit for pool play or game will be determined a tie; all playoff/championship games will start with this rule in the 7th inning (ages 12U and younger) or the 8th inning (13U and older).
- 7th (12U or younger)/8th inning (13U +): Runner on 2nd with no outs (Runner on 2nd was last batter of previous inning).
- 8th (12U or younger)/9th inning (13U +): 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 1stbase and previous batter on 2nd base).
- 9th (12U or younger)/10th inning (13U +): 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, etc)
LENGTH OF GAMES:
- For all ages 12U and younger, each game will be 6 innings in length unless dictated by time limit, mercy rules or “Act of God” outside forces.
- For all ages 13U and older, each game will be 7 innings in length unless dictated by time limit, mercy rules or “Act of God” outside forces.
Any team can start 9, 10, or 11 players. YOU CAN NOT START THE GAME WITH LESS THAN 9 PLAYERS! It will be a forfeit. If you do start with 9 players only, you may finish with 8 players if injury happens to one of them. If there are no eligible subs, the player leaving the original lineup will be recorded as an out until he is eligible to return that game. 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. The starting pitcher is allowed to DH for himself and bat in any spot in the order but must be listed a P/DH on the lineup card.
PLAYING FIELD DIMENSIONS:
- 8U/9U DIVISION: Mound will be 46 feet; bases will be 60 feet and they are closed.
- 10U DIVISION: Mound will be 46 feet; bases will be 65 feet and they are open.
- 11U & 12U DIVISION(S): Mound will be 50 feet; bases will be 70 feet and they are open.
- 13U + DIVISION(S): Mound will be 60’6 feet; bases will be 90 feet and they are open.
WOOD BAT/METAL BAT RULES:
SPRING/SUMMER EVENTS (April 1st – August 31st):
- 8U, 9U, 10U, 11U 12U Divisions: Metal bat divisions and only USSSA/USA Baseball/BPF 1.15 bats allowed. BBCOR and Wood bats are allowed.
- *13U & 13U/14U Combined Divisions: Bat of Choice: Metal or Wood. All metal bats must have a branding, label, or stamp proving BPF 1.15 or BBCOR on it. There is length to weight ratio maximum of -3 (3 ounces). All wood bats are allowed. Composite bats are NOT allowed.
- 14U, 15U, 16U/17U, 18U/19U Divisions: Wood Bats Only…All wood bats are allowed. Composite bats are NOT allowed.
FALL (September 1st – October 31st):
- 13/14 Division: Bat of Choice: Metal or Wood. All metal bats must have a branding, label, or stamp proving BPF 1.15 or BBCOR on it. There is length to weight ratio maximum of -5 (5 ounces) to help with the transition to the big field.
- 15U/16U, 17/18U Divisions: Wood Bats Only…All wood bats are allowed. Composite bats are NOT allowed.
Players participating in the age divisions (13U and older) are allowed to wear metal spikes unless dictated by the facility where the event is being hosted (i.e. turf complex, etc). For players participating in age divisions (12U and younger) you are to wear rubber cleats only.
- Major League rules will be used throughout the tournament.
- You can re-entry for the starter one time, each game, in the same batting spot. Any substitute entering the game, if replaced at a later point, is out for the remainder of the game.
- Pitchers when removed from the game as a pitcher, can NOT return as a pitcher in that game.
- Courtesy Runners are allowed for Pitcher and Catcher ONLY! Must be player on your bench, if you have substitutes. If there are no substitutes, it can be the last out of the previous inning.
- 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 the 1st visit, each time the coach visits the mound in that same inning, the pitcher needs to be replaced.
- There is no infield fly rule for 8U/9U Division ONLY.
- There are no balks in 8U/9U Division ONLY.
- There is no leading or dropped strikes advancing in 8U/9U Division. Only when the ball crosses the plate can the runner advance. All other age (10U +) groups, leading, stealing and dropped strike rules are allowed.
- Pitchers do NOT have to throw 4 pitches to have an intentional walk.
- There are no pitching limits in our events.
There is a mercy rule for our Firecracker Baseball events.
- 12 runs after 3 innings
- 10 runs after 4 innings
- 8 runs after 5 innings
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 (2 hour time limits, while most games finish complete, we can NOT base this decision on an official game only on innings played). Any game that has played more than 1 hour 30 minutes (75%) 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 30 minutes, 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.
- No two teams from the same organization will match-up in their first playoff game, unless the game is affected by a bye. The lower seed team will be moved one seed down in the standings if possible. If this is not possible, the lower seed will be moved one spot in the seedings.
- Home team in the playoffs/championships is the higher seed throughout.
- All Tournaments will have a championship game if possible. In the event cancelation of a tournament due to weather/poor field conditions, the tournament must have two complete games, per team, to be official. Firecracker Sports officials will determine a winner and appropriate finishes based on tie-breaking rules if the last day of championships are not played for these reasons.
All coaches must be in 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!
Any coach, player or parent that is ejected from a game is automatically suspended for the next game of the tournament.
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 baseball. 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 out best to get games in, move games around so EVERYONE has the same opportunity as others in our events but in the case, this does NOT happen, our policy is in place to protect our products and your programs.
- No Games Played = Full Credit towards 2022/2023
- 1 Game Played = $500 Credit towards 2022/2023
- 2 Games Played = $250 Credit towards 2022/2023
- 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):
- Overall Record (if all teams have played the same amount of games within that pool. If event is impacted by weather, we will use winning percentage instead of overall record)
- Head to Head (if all teams have played each other)
- Runs allowed
- Run Differential
- Runs scored
- Coin flip