Between The Lines Baseball Tournament Rules

BETWEEN THE LINES BASEBALL Tournaments and the tournament site director reserves the right to amend and or modify these rules at any time for specific tournament play. MLB and NFHS rules will be enforced except for those rules listed below which are different. All teams and coaches need to review their event rules prior to the start of each tournament.

Tournament Committee:

Our Tournament Committee is made up of the following:

  • Field officials
  • Head Umpire
  • Site Director
  • Tournament Director

This group will be called upon to deliberate on any and all disputes, challenges, or protests that become contentious and cannot be resolved by the game umpiring staff.

Facility Policy and Fines:

BETWEEN THE LINES BASEBALL has a goal to provide a great and consistent playing experience.  To do this we have agreements with facilities that provide Turf infields and outfields.  Our facility partners prohibit the use of:

  1. Cleats (metal or plastic)
  2. Sunflower seeds
  3. Chewing gum

Teams who violate this policy will be fined $1000 and will be immediately removed from the tournament forfeiting any chance of a refund.

Our Site Director will inspect dugouts before and after each game to ensure each team is in compliance with this policy.

Payment Policy:

BETWEEN THE LINES BASEBALL Tournaments requires any team registering for a Tournament to make a deposit of 50% of the total. Registration for all Tournaments are limited and are given on a first-come-first-served basis and only a full payment will guarantee you a spot in a Tournament.

  • Payment in full will be due 45 days prior to the start of any particular Tournament. 
  • BETWEEN THE LINES BASEBALL Tournaments accepts Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover Cards online, or by mail to our address listed below. Your spot in a Tournament is not secure until your payment, in full, has been processed and accepted.


  1. If Zero Games are played 85% of entry fee will be returned, or 100% as a credit for a future event run by BETWEEN THE LINES BASEBALL Tournaments.
  2. If 1 Game is played 50% of entry fee will be returned, or 75% as a credit for a future event run by BETWEEN THE LINES BASEBALL Tournaments.
  3. If you play 2 or more of your scheduled games, that is considered a full tournament.
  4. Credits are valid for 12 months from the time of the originating event.

Refunds, additionally:

  • Gate Fees are non-refundable. BETWEEN THE LINES BASEBALL Tournaments will do everything we can to play all scheduled games.
  • Teams that pull out after an event is sold out will forfeit their deposit and any other tournament payments.
  • Teams that pull out less than 90 days of an event will not receive any refunds or credit.
  • Teams that pull out prior to the 90 days of an event will receive a refund minus 20% of the deposit.


Field Dimensions:

15U-18U: All games will be played on 60’x90’ fields with a time limit of 1 hour & 45 minutes.

  • This time period may be shortened as needed by the tournament site director.

Pre-game Infield:

  • Pre-game infield may be taken before the start of the game unless otherwise specified.
  • No batting practice will be taken on the field during any tournaments.

Coin Toss: 

  • In Pool Play, home team is determined by a coin toss.
  • The home team will be the official book/scorer and will record game start time when announced by umpire. 
  • All teams need to be prepared to start 15 minutes prior to their official start time.


  • Non-wood bats must be BBCOR certified, and marked (silkscreen or other manufacturer placed marking) is legal.
  • Wood bats no thicker than 2-3/4” in diameter or longer than 36” in length, is legal.
  • Some events are Wood Bat ONLY – please see event description for bat types allowed.


  • Each game will be supplied with 4 new baseballs and any and all useable baseballs from the previous game.
  • Once all BETWEEN THE LINES BASEBALL supplied baseball have been exhausted, teams will be required to supply useable High school quality baseballs to complete the game.

The Head Coach

  • The Head Coach is The Accountable person for their team.  The head coach will take responsibility for their staff players conduct.  They will enforce the policies outlined in the BETWEEN THE LINES BASEBALL Tournament rules document.  
  • The head coach will be held financially accountable for any and all fines incurred by their team.  The head coach and his coaching staff will display and maintain a professional decorum.
  • The Head Coach or representative MUST have available upon demand a The BETWEEN THE LINES BASEBALL Tournament player roster signed by a legally responsible (18 years or older) for each player listed on the roster. 
  • The Head Coach or representative MUST have available upon demand proof of a valid/current team insurance policy.
  • The Head Coach will report all injuries or incidents to the Site Director who will fill out an incident report to be signed by the reporting head coach or representative.
  • The Head Coach will enter the team’s roster into Exposure Events.

The Players

Age Restrictions: Either/Or:

  • Your high school graduation year.
  • Or age, your age is determined by the May 1st date of that year


  • All rosters should be submitted prior to the start of the tournament.
  • A player may not be listed on more than one roster per age division.
  • Playing a non-rostered player will result in the removal of the player from the contest, and will not be permitted to participate. If a team has multiple non-rostered players participate, this will result in a forfeit.
  • Each manager is responsible for all aspects of his/her roster and must carry photo or electronic copies of birth certificates and/or high school transcripts to provide proof.
  • An illegal player may be suspended until documentation is provided or removed from the entire tournament if proven illegal.

Number of players/forfeits: 

  • A game can start with 8 players. However, if a team drops to seven or less, the game will become an automatic forfeit. The tournament director reserves the right to look at and rule on all forfeits.
  • A forfeit score will be scored as 7-0.


  • If a team is hitting a continuous lineup and a player gets injured and cannot continue to play, his spot in the batting order will be skipped with no penalty. Once a player’s spot in the batting order is skipped, the player is out for the remainder of the game and cannot come back into play.

The Pitcher

Pitcher / Pitching: 

  • The MLB balk rule will be enforced and will be LIVE, not a dead ball.
  • 3rd to 1st pickoff move is ILLEGAL.
  • Coaches are allowed a total of TWO (2) mound conferences per pitcher, on the third conference the pitcher must be removed.
  • The second conference of an inning, a pitcher must be removed.

Note: All teams in BETWEEN THE LINES BASEBALL events are strongly encouraged to follow the USA Pitch Smart guidelines that are displayed below. BETWEEN THE LINES BASEBALL Tournaments officials will not police these, they are simply guidelines to take care of your pitcher’s arms.

 MLB Pitch Smart Rules

Note: Coaches will keep track of the pitches for each pitcher and will report the pitch count to the umpire holding the game card so that the count may be recorded.

The Hitter

Hitting Lineups: 

  • All coaches/teams must turn in a lineup card to the umpire at the plate meeting prior to the start of each game. Once the first pitch has been thrown, the number of batters must stay the same for the entire game and the lineup is locked in.

You will have three lineup options:

  1. Hit 9 hitters with a DH or no DH. We will honor the High School DH Rule.
  2. Use one EH and hit 10 with or without a DH
  3. Use one EH and XH and hit 11 with or without a DH.

Note: Hitting the lineup can consist of 9, 10, or 11 batters. The lineup must stay with the same number of batters for the entire game. The 10th and 11th hitter if used will be designated as an EH and XH on the lineup card. XH is a 2nd EH.

Designated Hitter:

  • Designated Hitter (DH) can be used in two ways.
    1. The DH can be listed as the tenth starter replacing one of the other nine players when it is their turn to bat.
    2. The other method is that that any one of the starting defensive players can be their own DH (in effect having two positions) within the confines of the rule requirements.
      • Rationale: This rule change assists coaches with an alternative to keep their better players in the game to contribute to the offensive output of the team and give another player a chance to participate on defense. In addition, considering the pitch count rules, this change would help pitchers to keep their bat in the game, but can come out of the game defensively to protect their arms from overuse.
  • The pitcher can be P/DH. (This means that once you pull the pitcher out of the game, he can remain in the batting order as the DH.) (Can DH for anyone, not limited to the pitcher)

The Runner

Intentional Walks: 

  • Head Coach needs to inform the umpire of the intentional walk and the hitter will be awarded 1st Base. No pitches need to be thrown.

Courtesy Runner: 

  • Courtesy runner is optional for pitcher/catcher of record at any time.
  • The courtesy runner must be a legal sub or the last out if you are batting a continuous lineup.
  • Same guy is allowed to run for the Pitcher and Catcher
  • If an error is made on a courtesy runner, it is a correctable error and the runner will be replaced with correct runner
  • The courtesy runner will never be mandatory.

The Game

Time Limits:

Pool Play will have a strict 1 hour and 45 minute time limit with no new inning starting the designated time limit. Time will be announced and kept by the home plate umpire and/or the BETWEEN THE LINES Baseball Tournament field manager. If a game is tied after complete 7 innings, then the game will end in a tie. In the case of a tie, each team will receive a tie.

  • Game Start Time will begin on First Pitch.
  • Playoff games & Championship will follow the 1 hour and 45 minute rule.
  • The higher seed is the home team throughout the ENTIRE playoffs.

Weather Delays:

  • Delays in the game can be caused by Lightning, or Field Conditions.
  • A Delay will be used to wait out a condition that has made playing unsafe.
  • The Delay period is 20 minutes.
  • The delay period can be used to;
    • Allow lightning to leave the area (8-mile diameter)
    • Perform field maintenance
    • Other
  • A total delay period can be no longer than 60 minutes.
  • After 60 minutes, the game is canceled or considered complete.

Complete Games and Extra Innings:

  • In the event of inclement weather, all rainout games may not be made up due to time constraints and/or field availability.
  • If rain or weather suspends a game in a 6-inning contest, 4 innings (3 1/2 innings if home team is winning) could be considered a complete game.
  • If rain or weather suspends a game in a 7-inning contest, 5 innings (4 1/2 innings if home team is winning) could be considered a complete. The host facility and tournament director will make the final decision on all complete games.

Mercy Rules:

  • 15 runs after 3 innings
  • 10 Runs after 4 innings
  • 8 Runs after 5 innings

Extra Innings (Playoffs Only):

  • Last hitter from previous inning @ 2nd base.
  • Normal substitution rules apply.
  • The hitting team starts 1 out and every hitter has a 1-1 count.
  • Play continues until one team is ahead at the end of the inning.
  • Semi-Final and Championship will be played with regular extra innings.
    • Tournament Director has right to decide to move the game to Extra Inning Rules stated above if the games go beyond 2 extra innings.


  • The home team MUST provide a scorekeeper and will maintain the official game book.
  • Disputes on balls, strikes, outs and runs will be managed by the head field umpire and the official scorekeeper.

Tie Breaker and Advancement Rules (Within Pool):

  • Win Loss Record
  • Head to Head
  • Runs Allowed
  • Runs Scored
  • Coin Flip

Note: Pool Winners will always be the higher seed than a non-pool winner.  From there all wild card teams will be determined based on the rules below. After Pool winners, pool seed will have none, barring who advances, i.e a 2-0 team who finished 2nd in their pool will be seeded behind a 1-1 team who wins their pool.

Tie Breaker and Advancement Rules (Wild Cards):

Pool seeding does not matter for Wild Cards.

  • Win Loss Record
  • Head to Head
  • Runs Allowed
  • Runs Scored
  • Runs allowed in games against teams tied with
  • Runs Scored in games against teams tied with
  • Coin Flip


Game Card

  • A game card must be filled out by the head coach or assigned representative from each team.
  • The pitch count of each pitcher in the game must be recorded to the game card.
  • The game card MUST be signed by each head coach or designated representative at the end of each game validating the final score.
  • A game official must also sign off on the game card.



  • A protest is only available for a violation or misapplication of a rule, not for coach/fan/player disagreement with an umpire’s judgement call (ie. ball and strikes, out and safe, interference, etc).
  • Pitching limitations are not eligible for protest.
  • Protests must be filed and ruled on before the next pitch if during a game, or before umpires leave field if after a game.
  • The team protesting must make cash payment of $200 at the time of protest and the protest will only be heard and ruled upon by the tournament committee (Field officials, Head Umpire, Site Director, Tournament Director).
  • If the protest is ruled in favor of the protesting team, the $200 will be refunded to the team.


  • It is required that all teams, coaches, and fans comply with all tournament and facility rules.
  • Team managers/head coaches MUST have full control of their players and parents at all times. This means “on” and “off” the field. Tournament directors and hosts have the authority to eject a player, fans or team anytime during the tournament for threatening any member of our staff and others with physical harm, physical attack, abusive language, destruction of property, or failure to pay.
  • Any physical altercation between two teams before, during, or after a contest could result in the removal of both teams from the remainder of the event and future events.
  • The tournament committee reserves the right to eject any person from the site for unruly or unsportsmanlike behavior.


  • Any player, coach, manager, spectator and fan that is ejected from a game shall be suspended and removed for the remainder of that game only. Any individual ejected must leave the complex and exit to the parking lot.
  • If a team is hitting a continuous lineup, the ejected player’s spot in the lineup will remain and his team is forced to take an out.
  • Any player or coach that acts maliciously or performs an act with intent to injure, the tournament committee has the final say in the penalty for that individual(s). Any individual that gets ejected for a second time in a tournament shall be removed and eliminated from participating in the remainder of that tournament.

Illegal Bat Penalty:

  • It is the responsibility of each team’s head coach to monitor bats that are in play.
  • If a player uses an illegal bat, the umpire must be notified prior to the first pitch of the next batter or before all defensive players leave fair territory.
  • If the bat is found to be illegal, the batter will be ruled out and runners will not be allowed to advance.
  • If a team has two illegal bat rules infractions the Head Coach will be ejected for the rest of the tournament.