Slow Pitch Softball

Slow Pitch - Rules & Regulations


2012 Bat rule Explanation
Archived Rules & Regulations



As a general rule, USSSA continues its long standing policy of permitting players to determine the use of the protective equipment when they deem it appropriate. USSSA encourages players to utilize any protective equipment that they deem appropriate. Such protective equipment will be allowed in USSSA sanctioned play, unless by rule or by Director/Umpire ruling that such protective equipment is disallowed as unsafe or as providing an unfair competitive advantage. If used, the equipment must not be detached. Detached equipment can result in an obstruction or interference ruling. Repeated acts could be grounds for ejection.

Section 7

4. On any attempt to force the batter runner out at first base on the initial throw that pulls the defense off first base into foul ground the defense and batter runner may use either the white or colored portion of the base.


Section 1. In tournament play, in the championship game, the undefeated team gets the choice of home or visitor. If the tournament goes to an “if” game, it would revert back to a toss of a coin.

2011 Rule Changes

FROZEN ROSTERS – When a team qualifies for State, National, World, World Series or Men’s Grand Finale, the team roster is frozen whether the team accepts the berth or not.  Players will be bound to this qualified team up to and including the teams respective State, National or World Tournament, including the World Series.  A team may decline a National or World Tournament berth that is passed down.  Player(s) from the qualified roster are not allowed to play with another team in a USSSA tournament for the remainder of the season.

(a) A team Manager shall be allowed to add only six (6) players to the qualified team’s roster.  One of the additions must be added prior to July 1; one must be added prior to August 1 and one must be added prior to September 1. The three (3) additional players may be added as late as 72 hours prior to the State, National or World Tournament. In case of an emergency, State Directors may authorize these additions within 72 hours of a championship event. (Note: Do not wait to add players to your roster 72 hours prior to a National or the World Tournament. If you cannot reach Mike Peura you cannot add the player(s).

(b)  A team manager may release up to six (6) players from his team’s qualified frozen roster. A team manager may replace a released player with an add-on.  No player will be allowed to be released from a qualified team’s roster within 72 hours prior to a team’s first National Tournament.

Any player that is released from a qualified team’s roster cannot return to that team during the current season. A player may be released from only one qualified roster during the current season. Note: If a team applies for and is granted the status of disbandment (see Article III. Sec. 7) this shall not count against a player as a release.

New – Teams advancing to World Tournament play may release players after their National Tournament in order to make room on their roster for player additions as specified in Frozen Rosters.  Players released after National Tournament play may not be added to another team’s roster.

(c)  Note: Teams advancing to the Men’s Major World Series or Mixed World - please refer to the USSSA rulebook for more information.

(d)  All players added to qualified frozen rosters must meet the following requirements;

(1) - Players cannot be on another qualified team's roster within the same program. Note: A qualified team's roster remains frozen until the conclusion of the highest possible tournament in that team's respective program. For example: In the Men’s Class “A”, “B”, “C”, “D” and “E” Programs, a qualified team’s roster is frozen until the conclusion of all championship play in the Men’s Program.

(2) Players who are added to a roster of a qualified team must not have played for a team of higher classification during the current season within the same program.

(3)- All additions to the roster must be of equal or lesser classification than the team they are joining and must not change that team's classification.

(4)- The Classification or State Director must approve all roster changes prior to participation in any tournament.

Note: The maximum number of players is 20. You may only add up to 6 players (one prior to July 1st, one prior to August 1 and one prior to September 1st.) and (3) within 72 hours of a Championship event and drop up to 6 players.  A team with a frozen roster may play in a higher-class tournament, but individual players are not allowed to play with any other tournament team except the team which they have qualified.

Each team Manager is responsible for informing his/her players of the above frozen roster rules.  Failure to do so may result in a player playing for another team and disqualifying your team from All State, National, and Invitational or World Tournament participation.

No change to a team’s roster will be allowed after the team has begun play in its first game during a tournament.

Homerun Rules

(Updated 2014)

Men’s Class C Homerun Rule: After a team reaches its home run limit, any batter who hits an untouched fair ball over the fence will be declared out.  There is no other penalty for excessive homeruns. Any time the batter is ruled out because of an over-the-fence home run in excess of the limit, the ball is dead and no runners can advance.

*Men’s Class D & D Elite Homerun Rule:  (Illinois Rule Only)  Teams are now allowed one homerun per inning. Any other homeruns in the same inning will be declared on OUT but no other penalties. 

Men’s Class E Homerun Rule: (Illinois Rule Only) - Any batter who hits an untouched fair ball over the fence will be called out with no runner advancement. The batter will be declared out and the INNING IS OVER. There will no longer be an automatic out in the line-up each time that player or a substitute is scheduled to bat in Illinois but the National Rule remains the same, dead spot in the lineup for the remainder of the game.  The penalty is to prevent homerun hitters and higher-class players from playing the E program.

Men's & Mixed Class E Homerun Rules: Any batter who hits an untouched fair fly ball over the fence will be declared out and THE INNING IS OVER. Each subsequent time that position in the line-up is due to bat the batter shall automatically be declared out. The player shall remain in the game for defensive purposes only. This applies to any substitute in that batting position.

Additional Hitter

(Updated 2010)

Additional Hitter (A.H.) can be used in the entire USSSA program. A team may insert an Additional Hitter (1) or hitters (2) into its line-up. The batting order must remain constant; however, any 10 of the 11 or 12 players can take a defensive position throughout the game.  If an AH is used, the team must finish with 11 or 12 players depending if a team uses 1 or 2 Additional Hitters or the game is forfeited unless the program uses the short-handed rule. In the Mixed program when the AH is used a male and female AH must be used. If additional hitter or hitters is inserted into line-up after the game has started, the player or players will be ejected.
Note: The Men’s Major and Men’s A Programs are not allowed more than one A.H.

Men's NIT

(Updated 2010)

MEN’S C/D NITs: – Selected Men’s C/D NITs may now award a paid D World Tournament berth to the highest finishing previously unqualified D team. If a C/D NIT has 13 or more teams, the highest finishing team is entitled to $600 travel.
Note: Travel money will be sent to the official host hotel and credited to the team’s rooms. If the team chooses not to stay at a host hotel, the travel money will be forfeited.

C and D teams can only win $600 travel from the USSSA in ONE NIT. If a D team wins a paid berth in a C/D NIT, it can subsequently win $600 travel in a D NIT. If the highest finishing D team in a C/D NIT already has a paid D World berth, $300 travel will be awarded to the team in lieu of the berth. AN UNPAID D World berth will be passed down to the next highest finishing, previously unqualified D team. NOTE: Travel money will be sent to the official host hotel and credited to the team’s rooms. If the team chooses not to stay at a host hotel, the travel money will be forfeited. The $300 travel can be awarded to a D team from multiple C/D events following the above criteria.  Any situation that occurs that is not addressed above will be decided upon by the USSSA National Headquarters.  Men’s D teams earn double points in Men’s C/D NITs.
Exception: If no C teams enter the tournament, double National Ranking Points will not be awarded.

World Tournament Mandatory Hotel

(Updated 2010)

Any team receiving travel money for a World Tournament held in Florida must make their hotel reservations with USSSA National Office. All teams must stay at a USSSA approved hotel and travel monies will be sent to the team’s hotel.  If a team chooses not to stay at a host hotel, the travel money will be forfeited.

State At-Large Berths for World Tournaments: The top ranked Men's Class B, C and D team from each State and the State Tournament Champion will be awarded a World Tournament berth at the conclusion of all Illinois State Tournaments.

  • A team must have a minimum of 200 National Ranking points to qualify.
  • Team must have participated in a minimum of at least (6) USSSA events, including one (1) NIT and the State Tournament.
  • Team must participate in a National Tournament.
  • The berth may drop down to the next highest Nationally ranked team in their state or the next highest finisher in the State Tournament if the team meets all of the necessary criteria.
  • Teams receiving their berth through the State berth system will not receive travel money and must pay the tournament entry fee on line at
  • All berths must be approved and issued by the team's Slow Pitch State Director and the appropriate Vice President or Executive Vice President and ACCEPTED by National Headquarters by August 25th.

2009 Rule Changes

Effective 2009 season - Absolutely no children under 18 years of age will be allowed in any team’s dugout in League or Tournament play.

2008 Rule, Constitution & Policy Changes

  • A game may no longer end in a forfeit if a team cannot replace an ejected player.
  • Teams winning NIT’s with 25 or more teams is not automatically reclassified for the following season.
  • National Classification Committee has final authority on classification of all teams.
  • Teams that fail to participate the following year after being reclassified by the By-Laws remain at the new classification until such time as they participate and meet the necessary requirements.
  • Mixed Program – Many changes; refer to By-Laws and Rulebook.
  • New Softball specifications for 2009; Men’s and Mixed (12”) programs will be required to us .40 COR or less, 325 lb. compression or less ball; Women’s & Mixed (11”) will be required to use COR or .44 or less and compression of 400 lbs. or less.
  • Automatic suspension of persons who file a lawsuit against USSSA.
  • Base paths at 70’ or 65’ (not to be used for the Mixed or Women’s program) Also, diamond configuration may determine of 70’ is applicable.
  • .40 softballs will be used in the Men’s State Tournaments this season.
  • No longer printing the Tournament Guide Booklet. All info on

Check back to this website and National web site at for more updates, rule & policy changes throughout the season.