Rules and Regulations

This page outlines specific rule information for the USSSA Fastpitch Program in Maryland and Delaware. It includes information on the USSSA national rulebook, “C” and Rec/All-Star Program rule exceptionsregistration yearage eligibilityequipment and insurance.

Rule Book

You will find the complete rules and regulations in the USSSA Rule Book.

VIEW RULE BOOK

Maryland & Delaware Local Tournament Rules

Local rules and regulations utilized for Maryland & Delaware USSSA Fastpitch Event can be found on the link below.  These rules do not apply to national events.

View Local Rules

Maryland & Delaware USSSA 10U “C” & “All-Star” Rules

For 10U “C” and “All-Star” tournaments in Maryland & Delaware the following rule exceptions or points of emphasis will apply to the latest edition of standard USSSA fastpitch rules, which can be found online at either www.usssa.com or www.usssa1.com.

  1. The dropped third strike rule does not apply. Whether or not the 3rd strike is caught, the batter is out. The ball is still live and runners may steal 2nd and 3rd bases if they so choose. Runners may not advance to home on a dropped third strike.
  2. Base stealing is permitted under the following rule exceptions:
    • Runners may not steal home or advance to home as part of stealing a base or bases.
    • Runners may steal one or more bases per pitch to include a batter who receives a base on balls advancing to second or even third when receiving a base on balls.
    • Runners starting at third base may not steal home, but are liable to be put out if they are off the base when a play is made on them. See rule #4 below for clarification on how runners may score a run.
  3. A 5 run limit per inning shall be imposed for the first 2 innings of the game. All subsequent innings shall have no run limit.
  4. Runners may only score on:
    • A batted ball
    • A base on balls or hit by pitch with bases loaded – the runner on third is forced to home under this situation.
    • An awarded base when the ball goes out of play to include a pitch that goes out of play

10 & Under “C” and Rec/All-Star rule exceptions, click here.

The Registration “Year”

We are currently in the 2023 season. The softball “year” for USSSA runs from August 1 to July 31. All tournaments scheduled after August 1 are considered the following year’s events, and in order to participate in them, a team must be registered for the current year (Ex. August 1, 2022, is part of the 2023 Season). In short, all the created teams and all submitted rosters for a season expire on July 31.

Under the USSSA website, a manager establishes a one-time account, and then creates teams under that account from year to year. On or shortly after July 1, managers should create their team for the upcoming season, particularly if they plan on playing any USSSA tournaments between August and December. Otherwise, they can wait until next year to create their team.

Before a manager can create a team, he/she must complete a background check through their managers account. Once that is cleared, he/she can then create their team. Managers must enter their roster online each year, print the roster, and have each player and parent sign it. One thing that makes entering your roster easier the second time around is that any player that previously played on a team that the manager has under their account will already be in the system. If the manager wants to retain that player from a previous year, then all he/she has to do is highlight the player under the “Add Former Player” section and hit the submit button.

NOTE: If a player has played a prior season with USSSA, do not create another account for this player. Please make sure the correct spelling was used from the prior season. If a player cannot be located, please email [email protected] 

Roster Age Eligibility

The age cut off is still based on the calendar year, however the age eligibility for 2022 teams will change on August 1 (the annual start of a new season).

It may be easier to think of it in these terms: What is the age of the player as of December 31 of the current calendar year? That is the roster age for the player in the season that will start on August 1.

Below is a breakdown of age eligibility. Managers must be aware of the age eligibility cut-off in order to properly classify the age of their team for the fall season.

You may also click here to be connected to the USSSA Age Calculator.

AGE ELIGIBILITY ACCORDING TO BIRTH YEAR FOR THE 2023 SEASON (WHICH BEGINS AUGUST 1, 2022)

Age Group Birth Date
10U 2012-2017
11U 2011-2016
12U 2010-2015
13U 2009-2014
14U 2008-2013
15U 2007-2012
16U 2006-2011
18U 2004-2010

Equipment Regulations

The button below will take you to the current USSSA national equipment regulations for balls, bats and other equipment.

VIEW REGULATIONS

Insurance Requirements

Proof of adequate insurance must be filed with the State Office two weeks before the team’s first tournament. The insurance need not be issued through USSSA but must provide at least $1 million in liability coverage. Every year some teams think that they’re adequately covered when they either have no liability insurance at all (only accident coverage) or have very low liability limits.

View Insurance Program