Game & Tournament Rules
- All players on the roster and present for the game shall bat. If a player misses an at-bat for any reason other than injury, the scheduled at-bat shall count as an out.
- Each team shall use a consistent batting order from the start to the finish of each individual game, with exceptions only to remove injured players or, upon the umpire's approval, to add late-arriving players. Any late players shall be added after the last slot in the order, regardless of the time in the game.
- A batter appearing at the plate out of order and taking a pitch shall be declared out.
- Only American Softball Association (ASA) approved bats are allowed.
- Each batter is allowed three (3) pitches thrown by a pitcher from his or her own team. If the hitter fouls off the third pitch, another pitch is allowed. There is no limit to the number of third-pitch foul balls. The batter is out after 3 pitches unless the ball is put in play or fouled off.
- For pitcher safety, pitchers may choose to position themselves behind L-screens. Any ball hitting any part of the L-screen is a dead ball and the pitch shall not count toward the 3 pitches allowed the batter.
- Bunting and half swings are not allowed. If, in the umpire's sole discretion, a hit is deemed to have been a bunt or a half-swing, the pitch shall count, but the batter may not take a base. If it was the batter's third pitch, the batter is out. If it was the first or second pitch, the batter may return to the plate for additional pitche(s).
- Home run balls: We play on Little League fields. The first ball hit in each at-bat clearing the outfield fence in fair territory is to be considered a foul ball. The second hit from the same batter in the same at-bat to clear the outfield fence in fair territory is an OUT.
- Additional home run limitation and penalty per player: For the remainder of the same game, a batter who has hit two home runs to make an out shall be out again upon the first home run hit in a later at-bat. This penalty shall not carry over to future games.
- Additional home run limitation and penalty per team: Within any one inning, after two home runs have been hit by a team, regardless of whether any player has been declared out for hitting two home runs in the same at-bat, the third and subsequent home runs hit within the inning shall be declared an OUT.
- Foul ball home runs are always regular foul balls.
- Each team may have 9 fielders.
- Because the offense supplies the pitcher, having 4 outfielders (or more) is permitted.
Ground Rules: Balls In & Out Of Play
- A batted ball hitting the pitcher is a foul ball.
- Any batted ball touching a fielder's glove or body before going over the outfield fence on a fly (in fair territory) shall be ruled a ground-rule double.
- A batted ball that bounces over the outfield fence in fair territory is a ground-rule double.
- Force plays only at home: For safety, all plays at home plate shall be force plays (i.e., runner is out if the ball beats the runner and is caught by a defender, with no tag necessary). Runners shall not touch home plate. Instead, runners are required to cross a line drawn in chalk perpendicular to home plate. The catcher must step on home plate and catch the ball before the runner crosses the scoring line. The purpose of this force-play rule is to avoid collisions and injuries. A runner that touches home plate or who, in the opinion of the umpire, interferes with the catcher, is to be called out.
- 3B/Home - Point of no return: Once a runner crosses a line halfway between third (3rd) base and home plate, the runner must continue and cannot go back to 3rd base. A runner returning to 3rd after crossing the halfway point, in the opinion of the umpire, is to be called out.
- Runners may advance only on a batted ball. Leadoffs are prohibited. Steals are prohibited. Tagging up after a caught fly ball is permitted.
- Sliding discouraged: Sliding or diving into bases is strongly discouraged. If you want to know how to get injured or cause injury to your neighbors who are playing in the game, sliding, diving or other aggressive base-running tactics are all great ways to do it. Aggressive or dangerous behavior by a runner can result in an out, in the discretion of the umpire, and may result in expulsion from the game or the tournament.
- Pinch runners: A team may call for a pinch runner for a batter who reaches base but is injured while running. A pinch runner may be used for a player who has a pre-existing injury (as opposed to simply a slow runner) subject to approval and in the sole discretion of the umpire. A pinch runner must be the batter who made the most recent out in the same inning, or, if there are no outs, the batter who made the last out of the prior inning. Use of a pinch runner shall only be requested due to injury and shall in no event be used to seek an advantage, i.e, no "rabbits."
Mercy Rule & Scoring
- Teams will mercifully change sides when one team scores six (6) runs in one inning, except for the final inning, when there is to be no run limit for either side. There is no run limit for the 6th inning or any extra innings for the “Final Four” playoffs and final/championship game.
- The home team will not bat in the 6th inning (or final inning if declared due to time limit) if/when it has the lead. Play shall cease in the bottom half of the last inning when the home team's score surpasses the visiting team's score. This rule will be in place regardless of any tie-breaker rules.
- If your team is clearly superior, or having an exceptionally good game, DO NOT RUN UP THE SCORE. Any teams doing so will be subject to expulsion and will not be invited back. There are plenty of serious tournaments to play in; this is not one of them. See below on tie-breakers – there are no benefits for scoring extra runs.
Game Length & Time Limit Rules
- Games are scheduled to be 6 innings and should be played to conclusion whenever possible. With 45 minutes allocated to each game, umpires shall track the time of first pitch and shall not permit a new inning to begin after 45 minutes of play. Otherwise there is no time limit for games unless a tournament-wide time limit is declared, in the discretion of the tournament director, if the tournament is behind schedule.
- Games that are tied after 6 innings shall be allowed to go to a 7th inning to try to establish a winner. There shall be no run limit (mercy rule) for any 7th inning. Any game tied after 7 innings will be declared a tie. All “Final Four” playoff games and the final game will be played to conclusion.
- If the director declares that time limits shall apply, all games going forward are subject to time limit rules, except the “Final Four” playoffs and final/championship game. The director will designate a time, counted from the first pitch, after which no new inning shall begin.
- The umpire is the sole authority on time-keeping for the game and has sole discretion regarding whether to continue play.
- If, due to time limits, the final inning is declared by the umpire prior to the 6th inning, no run limit (mercy rule) shall apply. The inning shall be played in its entirety.
- Tournament format will be determined each year based on the number of teams that are scheduled to play.
- We use a seeded format to determine the matchups for every team’s fourth game. The initial game schedule for the day will be randomly assigned, with any specific exemptions as needed in the discretion of the tournament director. Based upon each team’s records after three games, a “Final Four” consisting of the top teams will be selected to play to determine the matchup for the championship game. All other teams will be matched as evenly as possible based on their seeding to try to ensure that the final game of the day is enjoyable for all. The director may, in his discretion, amend the matchups for teams seeded 5th to 10th such as may be needed, for instance, to prevent repeat matchups, and to otherwise try to ensure an enjoyable game for all.
- TIE BREAKERS: After all teams have played three games, a seeding process will determine matchups for each team’s fourth game. For each such game and the championship game, the higher seeded team shall be the home team. In the event that two or more teams have the same record, the following tie-breaker rules will apply:
- The first tie-breaker will be fewest runs allowed.
- The second tie-breaker, if applicable, will be head-to-head game results, i.e., if one team beat the other, that team is the higher seed.
- If needed, a third tie-breaker will be runs allowed against any common opponents.
- Total runs scored will NOT be used as a tie-breaker in any event.
- If the tie-breakers do not conclusively establish seeding order, the tournament director shall, in his sole discretion, choose a random method (coin flip, number draw, etc.) to break any ties.
- Each coach/team manager shall inform all players during recruitment and on game day that the tournament is a fund-raising event. While no player will be turned away for lack of a voluntary donation, each coach/manager shall inform players of the requested donation amount
- Manhattan Beach elementary schools may enter one or more teams
- MBMS and MCHS may combine to enter one or more teams (MCHS may include Hermosa Beach resident parents)
- American Martyrs may enter one or more teams
- Da Vinci Connect and Da Vinci high school may enter one or more teams, or may supply players to combine with another existing team
- Additional South Bay schools may enter one or more teams with permission of the tournament director
- Teams must be comprised of current faculty and/or parents of a student attending the school
- A parent must play for the school of their youngest attendee to an eligible school. Exceptions:
- Residents of Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach with no children in an eligible school may play as a "free agent"
- Free Agents may request assignment to a specific team, but may be assigned to a team by the tournament director to balance out participation
- Other exceptions may be made by the tournament director upon request
- Each participant shall be eligible to play for only one squad throughout the day, including in any playoff or championship game, even if the school or group with which that player is affiliated provides more than one team. Penalties against a second team using a player are in the discretion of the umpires and tournament director, and may include declaration of forfeit.
Sportsmanship & Waiver Requirement
- This event is about CHARITY FIRST. It raises money for schools. It's fun, but please remember the purpose.
- A minimum of $200 charitable contribution to MBX per player is recommended to participate. Thank you for understanding and for pitching in what you can.
- Managers must submit to the tournament director no later than 5:00pm on the Friday before the event a complete roster of expected players, along with email addresses for each player. It is understood that there may be late drops and late additions to a team’s roster. Managers are responsible for supplying the director with the information on any late additions, and may inform the director of the names of any players who were on the roster but did not appear in games.
- Each participant MUST consent to an injury waiver prior to taking the field, and will not be allowed to participate until such waiver consent is obtained. Players who register online shall consent to the waiver at that time. Managers must confirm that their players have consented to waivers. A team fielding a player who has not consented to the waiver may have any games in which the player participated declared a forfeit by the tournament director.
- THIS IS A FAMILY EVENT AND CHILDREN WILL BE IN ATTENDANCE. Please curtail any use of profanity and be a SHINING MODEL OF GOOD BEHAVIOR.
- There is nothing wrong with competition, but PLEASE display your BEST SPORTSMANSHIP at all times.
- Sportsmanship includes treating all players fairly and with respect. This includes how the fielding team responds to weaker or injured players on the offensive team.
- ANY INAPPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR OR PROFANITY CAN, AT THE SOLE DISCRETION OF THE UMPIRES AND THE TOURNAMENT DIRECTOR, RESULT IN YOUR EXPULSION FROM ONE GAME OR FROM THE TOURNAMENT.