Tournament Rules

Updated Thursday May 3, 2018 by Scott Kalish.

SFYAL Tournament Rules


All rules unless specifically listed below shall be from The Official Cal Ripken Regulations.



  1. A player shall not play with two different teams on the same weekend.
  2. Free substitutions throughout the tournament if batting the entire roster. See pitching rules for pitching substitutions.


Pitching Rules: (Updated for 2018 Tournament Season)

  1. Pitching limits are specific to age group:
    1. 12U  – 6 innings max per day with 9 innings max in tournament. If tournament goes into a 3rd day due to weather delays the max innings will be increased to 11 innings.
    2. 10U and 11U  – 5 innings max per day with 8 innings max in tournament. If tournament goes into a 3rd day due to weather delays the max innings will be increased to 10 innings.
    3. 9U – 3 innings max per game with 5 innings max per day. Tournament max is 8 innings.
    4. 8U – 2 innings max per game with 6 innings max per day. Tournament max is 6 innings.
  2. 1 pitch shall constitute 1 full inning.
  3. Pitcher must be removed upon a second visit to the mound in any 1 inning.
    1. Visits to the pitcher during warm up between innings constitute 1 visit. This is a Cal Ripken Rule.
  4. Once removed from the mound a pitcher shall not pitch again in the same game except for starting pitchers per Cal Ripken rules.
  5. Balk rule is in affect for divisions playing the 50/70 dimensions.
    1. 1 warning per pitcher for 11U
    2. No warnings for 12U


Base Running Rules:

  1. A courtesy runner may be inserted for the next innings catcher or pitcher with two outs in an inning to speed up the game. Substitute must be the 2nd out of the inning.
  2. In the 50/70 divisions ONLY, leads, steals, and runner advances are per Cal Ripken rules
  3. Players shall slide feet first when advancing to the next base.
    1. Headfirst slides allowed ONLY when going back to a base.
    2. A player sliding headfirst when advancing to the next base, including home plate will result in that player being called out. (No exceptions this is a safety issue)
  4. Base runners must avoid contact with the defensive player.
    1. Runner must slide or attempt to avoid contact in the event of a play being made on the runner.
    2. Malicious intent will result in ejection from the game at the sole judgment of the umpire and may not be protested.
  5. For the 46/60 divisions, once the pitcher is on the mound with the ball in his hand, no runner can advance to the next base.
    1. For example, runner on third, batter walks, once the batter reaches first base and the pitcher is on the mound with possession of the ball, runner CANNOT advance beyond first base. As long as the pitcher is not on the mound with the ball, all runners and play are considered live and can advance at their own risk. This will be at the umpires judgement but the specific area that is considered the mound will be discussed prior to the game.
  6. Drop 3rd strike is in affect for 50/70 divisions (11U/12U) only.
  7. Base runners may steal home.


Batting Rules:

  1. No fake bunt followed by full swing.  This will result in a Dead ball, and the batter will be out.
  2. Bats must conform to the USABat Standard that took effect January 1, 2018. Bats must have a USA Baseball Marking, a 2 5/8” Barrel Max.  NO BBCOR Bats are allowed.  Wooden Bats may be used as long as they do not have a composite coating.
    1. A better that shows an intent to use an illegal bat ie when the batter enters the batters box with an illegal bat, will result in an out.
  3. All Batters MUST wear a helmet.
  4. You may bat the entire roster.
    1. It will be at the coach’s discretion (and to be in compliance with Cal Ripken rules) how many batters will bat for that game.
    2. 8U, 9U and 10U must bat the entire roster unless the opposing team has fewer players in which case you may match the number of batter if you wish. If you do not bat the entire roster traditional substitution rules will apply.


Warm Ups:

  1. No use of the infield prior to game time. (Outfield only)
    1. SFYAL has a tee ball field that can be used for walk through and infield work.
  2. No soft toss with hard balls into the fencing area around the fields. Whiffle balls are allowed.
  3. All teams must be present 15 minutes prior to the start of the game to go over the ground rules and coin toss.
  4. Batting cages are available. SFYAL has 4 full and 2 half batting cages.
  5. Only the batter and the pitcher are allowed in the cage at one time.
    1. Please limit the usage to 15 minutes if other teams are waiting.
  6. Practice bullpen available with 3 mounds for 46 or 50 feet.
    1. A maximum of 10 minutes per team if other teams are waiting.
    2. Any player catching in the crouch position MUST wear a facemask and cup.


General Rules:

  1. Ten Run Rule in effect after four (4) complete innings. The home team does not have to bat in the fourth inning if ahead.
  2. Home team is determined by a coin flip during pool play. Higher seed in semi and finals.
  3. The winning team is responsible for the official scorebook, unless an official scorekeeper is provided.
    1. The official score book must be signed by the Opposing team and reported to a league official at the snack bar immediately after the game is completed. This is to record the scores and innings pitched.
  4. Time Limit – Pool play games only.
    1. An inning may not start after 1:45 from the beginning of the game.
    2. Tournament officials may determine end of game due to rain, darkness, time allocation or other factors. All reasonable accommodations will be made to get a full game completed.
  5. Pool games may end in a tie.
  6. Playing time is at the discretion of the individual team based upon your team philosophy.
    1. Throughout play, free substitution is allowed.
  7. Tie Breaker/ranking rules:
    1. Head-to-head competition (if applicable);
    2. Fewest runs allowed;
    3. Run Differential;
    4. Coin flip.
  8. In game protests:
    1. Play will stop and a final decision will be made before play continues.
    2. Umpire judgment calls are not open to protest.



  1. All games will be played at the SFYAL complex and scheduled for Fields #1, #2, #3, or #4.
  2. 9u games will be limited to a maximum of 6 runs per inning
    1. 6th (or last) inning is unlimited runs.
  3. 8u specific rules:
    1. Kid pitch only.
    2. 6 runs per inning.
      1. 6th inning is not unlimited runs.
    3. Unlimited bases on over throws.
      1. If a catcher throws behind a runner, that ball plays the same as a batted ball.
      2. Umpire shall rule on balls out of play.
      3. Base runner cannot steal home on a passed ball from the pitcher.
    4. 10 run rule applies as above.
      1. Game is over when it is mathematically out of reach.