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

Teams entering RI Tournaments:

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.

Once the tournament begins, 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

All teams must provide a copy of their insurance certificate. 

All tournaments must carry USA Softball Tournament Insurance, to purchase tournament insurance, go to, click on Sports Insurance > Tournament Insurance, select USA Softball from the list, then 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

80-minute time limit (no new inning starts after 80 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 80-minute time limit is for all games, (pool play and bracket), except for the semi final games andchampionship game which is are untimed games.

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

Nine defensive players will bat or teams have the following options:

1. Bat nine players without the DP/Flex.

2. Bat nine Players and use the DP/Flex.

3. Bat up to and including all roster players without a DP/Flex.

4. Bat up to and including all roster players with the DP/Flex.

• Players not listed in a defensive position will be listed as an EP

• EPs will be listed beginning in the 10th spot of the batting order

• When not using the DP/FLEX any 9 can play defense

• When using the DP/FLEX any 8 and the FLEX can play defense

• The Batting order will always remain fixed

• Any Player may be used as a courtesy runner for the pitcher or catcher

• Any Player can be used as a pinch runner 

• If a player is on base when it is their time to bat;

They will be removed from the base and take their turn at bat.

The person who they are running for will be called out.                   

• When only batting nine defensive players or using the DP/FLEX

If an injured player is not able to bat an out will be recorded for their turn at bat unless the team has a substitute not already in the batting order that can take their place

• When batting more than nine defensive players and have no available substitutes

If an injured player is not able to bat in their place in the batting order, the batting order will be compressed to the number of batters in the batting order less the injured player with no out recorded for the injured player unable to bat. 

An injured player cannot return to the game in which she was injured  


When batting the entire lineup and NOT using a DP/Flex

A)  A pinch runner 

B)  Courtesy runners for the pitcher/catcher (It cannot be the same courtesy runner for both the pitcher and the catcher)

C)  Whenever the lineup is condensed because a player has left the game

When Batting the entire lineup and using the DP/Flex

A)  All of the changes noted above, and whenever the Flex is put in to bat and the DP is removed

When NOT batting the entire lineup and NOT using a DP/Flex

A)  Any available substitute put into the game

B)  Any player that is re-entered into the game

C)  Any available substitute that is a courtesy runner for the pitcher or catcher

When NOT batting the entire order and using a DP/Flex

A)  Any available substitute put into the game

B)  Any player that is re-entered into the game

C)  Any available substitute that is a courtesy runner for the pitcher or catcher

D)  When the Flex is put into the game to hit and the DP is removed from the batting order


The DP is listed in the batting order and hits, the Flex plays defense and is listed last in the order


Courtesy Runners are for the pitcher / catcher only. They can be anyone in the lineup if batting the entire roster. They are tied to whoever they run for but can run the entire game. The same courtesy runner may not run for both the pitcher and the catcher

Pinch runners can be anyone if batting the entire lineup but can only run two times because they are treated as a sub for the person they are running for. They will continue to be in the lineup to bat. 

When not batting your entire lineup and have available substitutes, the subs need to be used first as either a pinch runner or courtesy runner

The EP rule allows any of the players in the batting order to play anywhere on defense.  When you have no DP / FLEX any nine can play defense and when you use the DP / FLEX any eight plus the FLEX may play defense. These are not substitutions, it is just playing defense. The only time a EP becomes a substitute is when they run as a pinch runner. Then they can do that twice and no longer be a runner but still bat. Any player can be run for.


Ryan is the 3rd hitter and gets a hit. Johnson is the 12th hitter and goes in to run. Ryan has left but still would bat in their position and Johnson is tied to Ryan as a pinch runner. Ryan comes up again and gets another hit and Johnson runs again. After that Ryan can no longer have a pinch runner and Johnson can no longer run


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.


Coaches that get themselves ejected from a game are at a minimum suspended from coaching their team's next scheduled game. Depending on the circumstances of the ejection, coaches may be suspended for the remainder of the tournament, and may also be facing a disciplinary hearing. 



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.

Determining a winner when a tournament is not completed will adhere to the following procedure:

1) The top two seeded teams from pool play that remain after each COMPLETED round of bracket play will be named champion and runner-up

2) If a round is not completed fully, revert to the previous completed round to determine 1st and 2nd place NOTE: ( A round is not considered complete until all teams in that round play). Example: The first round in bracket play is not complete until all teams that received a bye play their games.


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 Invitational tournaments, this policy does not apply to college showcase 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, tournament insurance, 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.