Tournament Rules


Atlantic Coast Softball Tournaments follow ASA/USA Rules for all Tournaments unless otherwise specified below.

Revised 11-9-18
(Click Here for updated ASA/USA Rules).

Registration
All teams registered for any Atlantic Coast Softball Tournament must submit a completed roster form and provide verification of proof of insurance that list Atlantic Coast as additional insured at least 45 days before the event along with the completion of the Coaches Checklist found on the ACS website.

***Forfeit Note: Forfeit Time is Game Time. Any Team that forfeits CAN NOT advance to the Championship Rounds and are not eligible for any type of refund. At the discretion of the Tournament Director that team may also be removed for the remainder of the tournament. Games will be scored 5-0. GAMES CAN START WITH 6 PLAYERS***

Hotels
All out of town Teams are required to stay in an "Approved ACS Hotel" in the Atlantic Coast Room Block. After Team Reservations are made please email T1 Housing (info@t1housing.com) with the Hotel Name and how many rooms were booked for your team.

Eligibility
Players cannot be double rostered in the same age division. Each team is responsible to keep a copy of the official state-issued birth certificate for each player on the Coach at all times. If any player does not have a copy of her birth certificate, she cannot participate in the Tournament. If a team caught using a player that is older than the cutoff for the division, that team will forfeit every game that player has played in and the Team will be removed from the Tournament. If there are multiple divisions within and age group (Elite & Open) a player may be double rostered on a team in the Elite and a Team in the Open.

Time Limit
All tournament games in pool play and playoffs will have a time limit. Championship games will not. The time limit is as follows:
  • 75 minutes, finish the inning (clock starts at the end of the pre-game meeting)


If both teams are tied at the end of regulation, and the Time Limit has not expired, proceed to extra innings. If the home team is winning after the top half of the inning, the game is over. Pool-Play games can end in a Tie!

If a game is tied after the Time Limit expires in Playoff Games (Championship Bracket) we will use the California Tie Breaker. Each Team will start the inning with their last batted out on 2nd base and the batters will have a 0-0 count. Each Inning will proceed this way until the tie is broken. No Tie-Breakers or Time Limit in Championship Games. 

***TIME LIMITS MAY CHANGE DUE TO WEATHER AND/OR TOURNAMENT FORMAT***

Playoffs/Tie Breakers
Seeding results will be available on the Atlantic Coast Softball website between 10pm and 11pm Saturday evening. (If Pool Play Games have been completed)
In the event that teams are tied after pool play, the following process will be followed:

  • Head to Head (only if 2 teams are tied. 3 or more, go to next tie breaker)
  • Fewest Runs Allowed (may be averaged if there is an uneven amount of games played)
  • Runs Scored (may be averaged if there is an uneven amount of games played)
  • Coin Flip

***There will be no re-seeding in the playoff brackets***

Re-entry
Defensive: Each team will be allowed unlimited substitutions in the field. A player does not have to be in the batting order to play the field.

Offensive: You may bat nine players, your entire lineup (Roster Batting), or anywhere in between. After the start of the game you cannot change the number of batters you have, it must remain the same for the whole game. If you bat your entire lineup and a player should get thrown out, or injured, and no substitute (a player not in the batting order) remains that is the risk you take and then you must take an out in that spot. Essentially the Batting Order is made up of all EH's (Extra Hitter's since there is Free Defensive Substitution)

If you are NOT Roster Batting, regular batting substitution rules apply. Games can start with 6 Players. Players can be added to the batting order in the order they arrive. Batting Spots 7-9 will be outs until enough players arrive.

Home Team
In pool play, the Home Team will be determined by a coin flip. Whoever wins the Coin Flip, has the choice to be Home or Away. In Playoffs and the Championship the better seed will have their choice to be home or away. If two teams should have the same seed, then a coin flip will determine home team.

Scorekeeping
  • Each team's manager must prepare 1 written copy of his lineup listing first and last names and numbers of all players and substitutes prior to each game. Lineups then must be provided to the opposing team’s manager.
  • The Official Scorebook is to be kept by the home team. Both teams are to confer after each inning to confirm the score.
  • A completed Scorecard (kept by the umpire) must be filled out and signed by THE SCOREBOOK KEEPER from each team after each game. Please make sure this is done so that we can make sure we stay on top of the scores, and post the results accurately ASAP.

Metal Cleats/Sunflower Seeds/Gum/Candy/& Tobacco Policy
Forfeit Rule: Any team found in violation of this rule by an AC Representative, Umpire, or Field Official will automatically forfeit all games, and fined $300, payable to the Field Owner. No exceptions!
  • No metal spikes allowed at ANY TURF FIELD
  • There is a Strict NO SUNFLOWER SEEDS/GUM/CANDY Policy on ANY park or field that has TURF.
  • Atlantic Coast tournaments have a strict NO TOBACCO policy for any: Player, Coach, Parent, Official, or Tournament Manager!

Molded Cleats, Turf Shoes, or Running Shoes are acceptable for any playing surface. For a complete Field List, including information on our fields of play, please Click Here.

Protests
ANY PROTEST MUST HAPPEN AT THAT POINT IN THE GAME! THE PROTESTING COACH MUST TELL THE UMPIRE, THE OPPOSING TEAM MANAGER, AND A TOURNAMENT OFFICIAL, THAT HE IS GOING TO PROTEST. THE PROTEST MUST BE ACCOMPANIED BY $100 CASH AT THAT POINT IN TIME!
  • Judgment calls by the umpire cannot be protested, rules only.
  • The protesting coach must tell the umpire and the opposing team's manager that he is going to protest the game at that specific point in the game. You cannot protest after that point in the game. Play the game out.
  • A $100 cash protest fee must be presented to the Site Director at the time of protest.
  • A protest is only "Official" if accompanied by the $100 and done before the next pitch.
  • Protests include questioning a player's age.
  • If the protest is upheld, then the $100 will be refunded and the game will be replayed from the point of the protest.
  • Burden of Proof lies with the Protestor

Entry Refunds
There will be no entry refunds for withdrawal from a tournament within 90 days of the start of that particular event. If a team registers, pays, and then drops out prior to the 90 days, they can either transfer their entry, or receive a refund less a $150 administrative fee. Refunds due to weather postponement will be calculated by the number of games played. If payment was made with a Credit Card, the payment will be refunded minus the Processing Fee. Please Note: If you withdraw from an Age Division that is FULL you will not receive a refund until/if your spot is replaced by another team! ($150 Admin Fee still applies). The weather refunds will go as follows:
  • 0 games played: Entry fee minus a $150 administrative fee
  • 1 game played: 75% Refund
  • 2 games played: 50% Refund
  • 3 games played: $100 Credit
  • 4 games played: No Refund

**Teams also have the option to transfer their entry into a future ACS Tournament**

Dugouts
Please help keep the tournament fields and common areas clean. Please be sure to pick up all your team's trash after the game. ONLY 2 COACHES AND A SCOREKEEPER, OR 3 TOTAL COACHES, ARE ALLOWED IN THE DUGOUT AT ANY TIME. HEAD COACH IS ONLY ONE ALLOWED TO DISCUSS ISSUES WITH THE UMPIRE.

Ejections
  • NO WARNINGS will be given to Coaches, Players, or Fans for unsportsmanlike or unruly behavior.
  • Upon ejection, the Coach, Player, or Fan must completely leave the premises. Failure to comply will result in a team forfeit.
  • Any Player ejected from more than one game will not be permitted on the premises for the rest of the tournament.
  • COACHES ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR FANS. IF A FAN IS EJECTED FROM ANY GAME, THE HEAD COACH WILL BE EJECTED FOR THAT GAME ONLY

Should a Coach, OR FAN, be ejected from 2 games, he/she will not be permitted to participate in the rest of the Tournament as a Coach, or a Fan, and will not be permitted on any Tournament Game Site for the duration of the Tournament. The Tournament Director reserves the right to excuse the ejected Coach after the first incident.

Official Game
All games are official after the completion of the 3rd Inning (2 1/2 if the Home Team is winning) **unless Mercy Rule comes into effect**. If a game should be called due to darkness, weather, etc. and it is the middle of an inning, then the game will revert back to the score from the previous inning if the 3rd inning has been completed (2 1/2 if the Home Team is winning). If there are ample game slots left, the game may be re-scheduled to resume!!!

Format Alterations
Atlantic Coast Softball reserves the right to alter, change, or abbreviate Tournament Formats and Rules, when necessary. This includes, but not limited to, shortening times limits in order to maintain the game schedule and to ensure all games are played.

Intentional Walk
Coach must notify the home plate umpire and the hitter will be granted 1st base.

Softballs
Atlantic Coast will supply 3 Softballs for each game. Teams are responsbile for chasing foul balls.

Courtesy Runners
Courtesy Runners for Pitcher and Catcher AT ANY TIME. Must be a Player off the Bench/Player not in the Batting Order. If you are batting your entire lineup, then you may use the LAST BATTED OUT. Please remember the purpose is to SPEED UP THE GAME! If the Courtesy Runner is not ready with her helmet and at the entrance to the field at the time the Batter reaches the base, the Umpire reserves the right to refuse the Courtesy Runner option if it slows the speed of the game.

Umpires
If there is not a Tournament Representative on site, the Umpires will serve as the on-site Tournament Representatives. There will be 2 umpires at every age group. Younger age divisions (8U-12U) may have one umpire.

Infield/Outfield
Games may start early! Please be prepared to play 30 minutes prior to scheduled start time!
There will be no infield/outfield practice prior to tournament games. There will be 1 minute in between innings.
Hitting whiffle balls, or any type of ball, into nets, FENCES, etc. is not allowed on any part of any field!!! Please hit outside the FENCES!!

Special Start Requests
Before entering a tournament, make sure your team has no other conflicts on the listed Tournament Dates. ACS cannot accommodate any special game time requests! Teams need to be prepared to start at 4:00pm (and 8 a.m. on June & July events) on the first day of the tournament and at least 8:00am (local time) on the following days.

Alcohol & Tobacco Policy
Many of our tournaments are hosted on College & High School Campuses, & Community Parks. These locations do NOT permit their players, parents, or fans to consume ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES, CHEW TOBACCO, or SMOKE on the premises and we will enforce those policies at our events as well. Please remind your fans and players to respect these policies, as improper conduct will be dealt with as needed. ACS has a Zero Tolerance and Law Enforcement Officials will be called. Ejection may take place for the remainder of the game or tournament at the Tournament Director’s discretion.

Division Rules

10U 12U 14U & Up
60' bases 60' bases 60' bases
35' mound 40' mound 43' mound
7 inning game 7 inning game 7 inning game
75 Minutes Finish the Inning 75 Minutes Finish the Inning 75 Minutes Finish the Inning
Mercy Rule
20 after 1 20 after 1 20 after 1
15 after 2 15 after 2 15 after 2
12 after 3 12 after 3 12 after 3
10 after 4 10 after 4 10 after 4
8 after 5 8 after 5 8 after 5
Run Rules apply to all games. Championship Games - No 8 Run Rule. Must be 20, 15, 12, or 10.