Youth Rules

General Game Play

If a rule is not listed on this page, GSL Tournaments will defer to the MLB rule book also known as “big book rules”.

Click here to download an Official Copy of the MLB Rules Book

9U and 10U AAA divisions will be played on 60 foot bases with a 46 foot pitching distance.  The AAA division will be played with no leadoffs and no dropped third strikes.  Runners may steal when the ball crosses the plate.  There are no balks in these divisions.    No metal spikes allowed.  No headfirst slides allowed while advancing to a base.  We do not use little league rules.

9U and 10U Majors divisions will be played on 60 foot bases with a 46 foot pitching distance – We will use 65 foot bases when available.  The Majors division will allow for leading off and dropped third strikes.  No metal spikes allowed.  No headfirst slides allowed while advancing to a base.

11U and 12U Majors and AAA divisions will be played on 70 foot bases with a 50 foot pitching distance.  Both divisions will play by the same rules and allow for leadoffs and dropped third strikes.  No metal spikes allowed.  No headfirst slides allowed while advancing to a base.

13U Majors and AAA divisions will be played on 80 foot bases with a 54 foot pitching distance.  Metal spikes are allowed. Head first slides are allowed.  Both divisions will play by the same rules.

14U Majors and AAA divisions will be played on 90 foot bases with a 60 foot 6 inch pitching distance.  Metal spikes are allowed.  Head first slides are allowed.  Both divisions will play by the same rules.

Balks will be called immediately at the 12U majors level and above.  From 12U AAA and below, umpires will allow each pitcher a warning prior to calling a balk.

 

Age Restrictions

The age cutoff for GSL Tournaments is May 1st.  Any player with a birthday prior to May 1st must play in that years age division or older.  Example: a player turning 12 on April 30th will be required to play in the 12U division or older.  A player turning 12 on May 2nd may play in the 11U division or older.  We strongly suggest that players try and play with their grad class rather than their age division for recruiting purposes.

Bat Restrictions

All 9U – 13U games will be played with USABat Standards approved bats.  All bats must bear the stamp of the USABat licensing mark.

All 14U games will be played with BBCOR bats (minus 3) including AAA and Majors divisions.

Click here to learn more about the USABat Standard

Failure to abide by the bat regulations will result in the automatic ejection of the head coach.

What will the USABat Standard change and why?

Similar to the NCAA and NFHS BBCOR Standard that was implemented in 2011, the new USABat Standard will create wood-like performance in youth baseball bats. Or, as USA Baseball’s Executive Director / CEO Paul Seiler stated, help “take another step forward in making our game more uniform at the youth level and ensuring the long-term integrity of the game.”

Like the NCAA bat performance tests, the USABat Standard is based on the coefficient of restitution from a bat-ball impact. But in order to address the varying levels of play between youth and high school / collegiate players, the USABat test will use different test balls and test speeds to scale the results.

The BBCOR regulation limits bats to a maximum value of .50 in the NFHS / NCAA test. Currently, the maximum value that these new youth bats will be allowed to achieve, or how that value would exactly compare to the trampoline effect achievable with a BBCOR / current youth baseball bat / wood bat, is not known.

But, unlike the -3 length-to-weight ratio restriction that is required for BBCOR bats, USABat will not have a drop weight limit. Instead of requiring the use of wood bats, which are often found with a -8 length-to-weight ratio at the lightest, younger players will still be able to use bats made from light-weight, highly engineered materials.

With the creation of the new standard, players within the affected organizations will also now be allowed to use bats with either a 2 1/4 inch or 2 5/8 inch barrel diameter, as long as they carry the new USABat stamp

Time Limits

9U – 12U games will play 6 innings or 1 hour 45 minutes with no new inning, whichever occurs first.

13U and 14U games will play 7 innings or 2 hours with no new inning, whichever occurs first.

The time starts upon completion of the plate meeting.  It is the responsibility of the coaches to get the start time from the crew chief.

The new inning starts as soon as the third out from the previous inning has been recorded.

In the case that the home team is winning and time is reached while they are batting, the game will be ruled complete.

There is no time limit for championship games.

Tied Games

Pool play games will end at the conclusion of the allotted innings or time regardless of the score.  Pool play games will end in a tie if there is no time left.  Example: a 6 inning game is tied 2-2 at the end of 6 innings and there is 15 minutes left on the time limit, this game will be ruled complete and scored as a tie ball game.

Tied games will go down as half a win and half a loss.

If a playoff game is tied at the end of the allotted innings at the time limit, they will start with a runner on second base and one out.  This will continue until there is a winner.

Pitching Restrictions

Age GroupTournament MaxDaily MaxNo RestOne Day Rest
9U and 10U8 Innings6 innings3 or less inningsMore than 3 innings
11U and 12U 8 Innings6 innings3 or less inningsMore than 3 innings
13U and 14U8 Innings7 innings3 or less inningsMore than 3 innings

In the case that a team uses an ineligible pitcher, he will immediately be removed from the game and the head coach will be ejected from the current game plus one.  No forfeit is rewarded and the new pitcher will have adequate time to get warmed up.

Mercy Rules

2nd Inning3rd Inning4th Inning5th Inning
15 Runs12 Runs10 Runs8 Runs

Seeding and Tie Breakers

  1. Win/Loss record
  2. Head to head (only in case of a 2-way tie OR sweep if all tied teams played each other)
  3. Runs allowed
  4. Run differential (min/max of 8)
  5. Runs scored
  6. Fewest runs allowed in a single game
  7. Most runs scored in a single game
  8. Coin flip

We will never revert back to a previous tie breaker once a tie has been broken

When ties are involved, teams will be rewarded half a win and half a loss for a tie.  This will help determine seeding.  Example: 2-1 in pool play is the same as 1-0-2.

Batting Order and Substitutions

Teams will be allowed to use EHs and a DH (for any player)

Teams will have the option of batting 9, 10, or their entire roster.  Example: if a team rosters 13 players, they may not choose to bat 11 or 12.  If they choose to bat 10 or the entire roster, all players not currently playing in the field will be scored as an EH which will represent a position the same way a shortstop or centerfield would.

Teams are allowed free defensive substitutions throughout the game.  A player may enter the game at any time defensively without entering into the batting order.  The only time a player must check in and become an eligible substitute is when replacing a player in the batting order.  Example: a substitute may play left field every other inning without actually taken the place of the starting left fielder in the batting order as long as the substitute is never granted an at bat.

All age divisions will allow re-entry one time for the starter.

Courtesy Runners

Teams are allowed a courtesy runner only for their catcher and only when there are two outs in the inning.  This rule is in place to speed up the game and still allow catchers to develop their base running abilities.

There are no courtesy runners allowed with less than two outs and for no other positions than the current catcher.

The courtesy runner must be a player currently not in the batting order.  If a team is batting their entire roster, it will be the last recorded out.

31 Moves

The fake pickoff to third, pickoff to first is not allowed and will be ruled a balk per MLB Rule.

Sportsmanship

All players, coachers and fans will be expected to conduct themselves in a sportsmanlike manner at all times. Razzing, heckling, taunting and making disparaging remarks to the opposing team and umpires will not be tolerated.  Any player, coach or fan whose conduct is unbecoming or abusive will, at a minimum, be removed from the premises at the discretion of the Tournament Director, Umpire-in-Chief and umpires. Any individual ejected from the game will miss the remainder of the game, plus the next game. If the same person is ejected for a 2nd time, he, or she, is suspended for the remainder of the tournament. Failure to comply will result in forfeiture of the game.