USA Softball RI Modified Invitational Tournament Guidelines/Rules For Class "C" Tournaments

USA Softball Rhode Island softball 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.


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

USA Softball Roster Forms

A copy of an USA Softball Roster/Waiver form, noting team classification and signed by the respective USA Softball commissioner or designee from where a team is registered, must be submitted to the tournament director via, along with a copy of team insurance, 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.. Players not on the roster are ineligible to participate. Should a team need to add players to their roster due to injuries, defections, etc, any player being added must be cleared and either added to the roster by the respective state commissioner from where a team is registered, or be submitted via a "pickup player form". Players being added must come from a team/league that was classified as "C" in the current year.

If you are adding to a roster you can not add a player currently on another roster.

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

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.

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 class "C" Invitational tournaments. All class "C" Invitational Tournaments will use these modified rules, or use straight USA Softball rules without modifications.

If not specified below, this tournament will follow the USA Softball rule book.

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 she was injured in.


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 whomever 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. 


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

9 defensive players in the 12U and 14U divisions

In the 10U division only, It is optional for a team to use 4 outfielders, not mandatory. Teams playing one another can use 3 or 4, if one team wants 4 and the other 3, that is acceptable.

Time Limits

Games will be 80 minutes in length. No new inning will begin after the time limit has expired in all games except for the semi finals and championship games which are untimed. In the 10U division only, all games will be timed except for the championship 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.

Tie Games

Bracket games tied at the end of 7 innings, or after the time limit has expired will use the International Tie breaker rule to determine a winner. Pool play games may end in a tie.

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 where 3 or more teams with the same record have inconclusive head to head results). Example: teams "A", "B" and "C" play each another and finish with identical records; team "A" defeats team "B", team "B" defeats team "C" and team "C" defeats team "A". Head to head for those three teams would cancel out.
  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.



There will be a maximum of 4 runs scored per inning in all divisions in pool play, there will be no unlimited runs in the final inning of pool play games because pool play games can end in a tie. In bracket play, the last inning will have unlimited runs. The last inning will be declared once there is 10 minutes or less is left in the 80 minute time limit. Should the last inning end before the time limit is reached, the game is over unless tied. If tied, the International tie breaker rule will be used to determine a winner.


  1. A batter called out, or on a swinging 3rd strike, cannot advance if the catcher drops the ball. (With that said, baserunners are allowed to advance).


USA Softball approved Diamond softballs are the softballs being used for this tournament no other ball can be put into play. Each team supplies one new softball for each game, used softballs will be provided to each site.


Two umpires must be used in all  games.


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. 

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, 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.