USA Softball RI Modified Invitational Tournament Guidelines/Rules For Class "A", "B" and "Open" Tournaments

USA Softball Rhode Island takes great pride in our invitational tournaments, the teaming of quality tournament directors, trained USA Softball umpires along with support and guidance of USA Softball Rhode Island is the reason teams "PLAY USA Softball".

Team managers have become very cognizant of the benefits of USA Softball umpires, USA Softball rules, and the guarantee of registered, and classified teams, thus keeping the field equitable.

Teams entering USA Softball RI Invitational tournaments are to be directed to the opening page of the USA Softball RI web site ( to view the USA Softball RI Modified rule for Invitational tournaments. All Invitational Tournaments will use these modified rules or use straight USA Softball rules without modifications.


Only USA Softball registered and classified teams are eligible to participate.

USA Softball Roster Forms

Out of state teams entered in RI Tournaments:

Beginning in 2018, a copy of a USA Softball Roster/Waiver form, noting team classification, signed by the respective USA Softball commissioner or designee from where a team is registered, must be scanned to the USA Softball of RI JO Commissioner @ no later than 10 days prior to the start of the tournament. Failure to do so will result in removal from the tournament and loss of entry fee. Should a team need to add players to their roster due to injuries, defections, etc, a pickup player form is needed for each player being added. Players being added must come from a team that was in the same classification in the current year. Example: Players that were on a class "A" team's roster during the current year, cannot be placed on a team of a lower classification.

Upon demand by tournament officials, a player must produce proper identification any one of the following will be accepted:

  1. Photo ID card issued by the local commissioner and his/her designee.
  2. Birth certificate.
  3. Baptismal certificate.
  4. Hospital certificate.
  5. Driver's license.

Team Insurance

Teams must provide a copy of their insurance certificate. Out of state teams need to scan a copy to the USA Softball JO Commissioner @ 10 days prior to the start of the tournament entered, failure to do so will result in removal from the tournament, and loss of entry fee.

All tournaments must carry USA Softball Tournament Insurance, to purchase tournament insurance, go to, click on Sports and Golf Insurance, then on USA Softball, then Tournament/clinic Insurance, choose "buy insurance online", then choose "Tournaments", complete the application (Note: Insurance needed to be purchased is Youth accident and Liability)

Only USA Softball registered umpires may officiate tournament games. Two umpires will be used in all games, (pool play and bracket), in all age divisions and classifications.

All umpire assignments will be issued by the USA Softball Rhode Island Umpire in Chief.

Time Limits

75-minute time limit (no new inning starts after 75 minutes). Pool play games (only) may end in a tie. Bracket games, tied at the end of 7 innings or after the time limit has expired, will use the International Tie Breaker to determine a winner.

The 75-minute time limit is for all games, (pool play and bracket), except for the championship game which is an untimed game.

Should rain or the threat there of require games to be shortened in order to complete the tournament, the following method will be used to shorten games:

Games will be shortened to 5 innings, (4 and 1/2 if the home team is ahead), OR no new inning will begin after 60 minutes, whichever comes first.

Team Lineups

A team has the option of using a straight USA Softball lineup, which includes 9 batters with the FLEX/DP option, or they may use up to 12 batters in the batting order: 9 positional players and 3 EP's ("extra players"), with no FLEX/DP option. Once a team decides to use an "EP" or "EP"s, they may not be eliminated from the lineup. The team is committed to batting the "EP"(s) throughout the game. Should a player in the batting order have to leave the game for any reason, that player will be skipped without penalty (unless playing shorthanded). A player leaving the game because of injury cannot return to that game. If playing shorthanded, a game can begin or continue with 8 players, an out will be recorded when the 9th position in the batting order is reached. The game is ended when less than 8 players are available.

Players beyond the 12 starting players will be listed as substitutes. The "EP"(s) can be used on defense at any time without reporting a change.

Defensive Players

All divisions— Nine defensive players.

Determining Home Team

USA Softball rules state that the home team is decided by a coin flip in all games. If a tournament director wants to award home team designation in bracket play based on the higher seed, it must be communicated in the tournament flyer, and in the "tournament notes" section when a tournament is applied for via the USA Softball New England Tournament website.

Courtesy Runners/All age groups

Available listed substitutes, not in the line, up may be used as a courtesy runner for the pitcher/catcher, or a player that is injured.

Should a team not have an available substitute, the last scheduled batter at the time when a courtesy runner is needed will be the runner for the pitcher/catcher. Should a team not have an available substitute when an injury occurs while on offense, the last scheduled batter at the time when a courtesy runner is needed will be the runner for the injured player. The insertion of an incorrect courtesy runner discovered after the next pitch is thrown will result in an out. Should the incorrect runner be discovered prior to the next pitch being thrown, the correct runner is inserted without penalty.

Example 1: The first batter of the inning pops out for the first out of the inning, the next batter is the pitcher, she gets a hit, the courtesy runner is the batter that just made the first out.

Example 2: There are no outs in the inning when the catcher draws a walk, the courtesy runner is the last scheduled batter in the lineup at the time catcher drew the walk.

Metal Cleats

In Invitational tournaments, a tournament director may ban the use of metal cleats if they desire, but if this is the policy, it must be stated in the tournament flyers, and in the "tournament notes" section when a tournament is applied for via the USA Softball New England Tournament website. If a tournament bans metal cleats and a player/players are discovered wearing them, player/players will be removed from the game until such time that replacement cleats can be obtained. Should removed players result in the offending team being shorthanded, the USA Softball shorthanded rule will be put in effect.


In invitational tournaments, a tournament director may ban slashing if they desire, but if that is their policy, it must be stated in the tournament flyers, and in the "tournament notes" section when a tournament is applied for via the USA Softball New England Tournament website. In a tournament where slashing has been banned, the penalty for a batter that slashes is as follows: A dead ball will be called by the umpire, the batter will be declared out, and all base runners will be returned to the base that they had previously occupied when the slashing occurred.

Seeding From Pool Play

Seeding from pool play into bracket play is determined by the following:

  1. Best winning percentage.
  2. Most wins.
  3. Head to head (head to head tie breaker does not apply in situations when 3 or more teams are tied with the same record.
  4. Runs allowed
  5. Runs For
  6. Coin flip.

In tournaments that are uneven in number that necessitate a team playing an extra game in order to ensure that all teams get their alotted number of pool play games, the game will not count for the team that plays a 4th game. The team playing the 4th game does not get to pick and choose which of the 4 games is used for seeding as seeding will be done off of that team's first 3 games.

For a game in progress in pool play that is subsequently forfeited due to a team falling below the required number of players, if the team ahead receives the forfeit, the score remains as is when the forfeit occurs, despite the inning. Should the team that is losing receive the forfeit, they would be credited with the win, and runs allowed would count for seeding purposes.

When rain prohibits the completion of pool play and a number of teams do not get all of their pool play games in, seeding will be done as follows: Example, in a ten team tournament, 6 teams play all three pool play games, and 4 teams only get to play two pool play games. Seeding from pool play into bracket will be off of all teams first two games in pool play. Teams that did play their 3 pool play games do not get to pick and choose which of their 2 of their 3 games are used towards seeding, the first two games will be used.

8U Coach Pitch Tournaments

All 8U Coach Pitch tournaments are governed by the rules developed for this division, there will be no modifications allowed. The rules for 8U can be found on the opening page of the USA Softball RI website (

Cancelled/Shortened Tournament Refund Policy

The following refund policy is to be used in all USA Softball RI sanctioned tournaments:

  1. Tournament cancelled completely, no games played. Teams issued a refund less tournament expenses that cannot be recovered. Examples: perishable foods, T-shirts, trophy plates, etc. Create a tally sheet of these expenses, and send teams a copy along with their refund. Refunds due to teams must be disbursed within 7 days from when the tournament was scheduled.
  2. One game played: 1/2 of entry fee returned.
  3. No refund if two or more games played.
  4. If a team drops out of a tournament and a replacement team is found, the team gets a full refund, if a replacement team cannot be found, no refund is issued to the team dropping out.

Tournament expenses vary from one tournament to another based on many factors. Should tournament expenses be less significant and it is found that it is not necessary to keep as much of team's entry fees in any of the above 3 scenarios, please do so.