• Maryland & Delaware Fastpitch Softball / Baseball

Softball Policies & Procedures

Softball player at bat

This page outlines specific policies and procedures for the USSSA Fastpitch Program in Maryland and Delaware. It includes information on the Player Release, Heat Policy, Berth Procedures, and Code of Conduct.

USSSA Maryland & Delaware Player Release Procedures

Once the spring/summer season begins, the first tournament a player plays in is the team she is locked-in to. If she chooses to go to another team, which includes a team within the same organization or different age group, she would have to submit a player release form along with a $15 transfer fee. Players are only allowed one release during the spring/summer season. A player can start the season on one roster and then be released to the other to finish out the season but she can't go back and forth between the two teams. If a team disbands mid season, players can be released to another team without affecting their one time transfer.

The Player Release Form (PRF) and the player transfer fee must be received by the USSSA East office no later than the Thursday before the weekend that the player wishes to participate with the new team. Both the PRF and fee must be received prior to the release being official. Once the PRF has been validated, USSSA East will delete her from her original team and the new team’s manager can add her to their roster. The manager should then maintain a signed copy of the new roster showing the player has been added to the roster. Prior to the World Series, players may only be released and added to a team one time.

When a player declares she no longer wishes to participate on a team whose roster she has signed, that player must return all equipment, uniforms and similar items that were distributed to the player specifically for the that season. The player must return these items within 7 days after notifying the team manager, either verbally or in writing, of her intention not to play. All monies that the player has deposited with the team or has earned as part of fundraising campaigns will remain with the team.

Once all the items have been returned to the old team, the manager of that team must sign the player's PRF. By signing that form, the manager is stating that all items have been satisfactorily returned and that he/she is granting the unconditional release of the player. The purpose of having the manager of the old team sign the PRF is not to give him/her the option of preventing the player from re-signing onto another team, but rather to signify that the manager has received all required equipment and that the player is leaving in good standing.

Financial arrangements between the player and team, whether unfulfilled or perceived to be unfulfilled, are irrelevant to the player release process, as it is the responsibility of the team to ensure that all money due is collected from the player on a timely basis.

Alternatively, if a manager informs a player that she is being removed from the team roster without the player’s mutual consent, then the team should show good will to the player and return all money provided by the player to the team on a pro-rated basis. For example, if the player deposited $500 with the team and the team is scheduled to play 10 tournaments in the season, of which 3 have been completed, then the team, in good faith, should refund the player $350. The manager is obligated to sign the PRF for any player released from the team.

Any conflicts resulting from player/manager relationship releases will be resolved by USSSA.

Player Release Form

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USSSA Maryland and Delaware Heat Index Policy

The following heat index policy guidelines have been established to ensure the safety and welfare of all players, coaches, and umpires involved with the sport of fastpitch softball.

Heat Index Actions

  • 80° - 89°: Use caution; Monitor athletes carefully for necessary action.
  • 90° - 104°: Use extreme caution; Ensure water breaks are allowed as needed; Ensure that all individuals drink fluids and that uniforms are modified to ensure the coolest level available.
  • 105° - 114°: Games will be shorten in duration to allow a longer break between games for all involved; Alter uniforms where feasible;
  • 115° & Above: All activities will be suspended until the heat index is below 115.

The Heat Index will be watched by the on-site Directors, the on-site UICs and the USSSA State Director's Office. The Heat Index Policy will be implemented and enforced by the State Director's Office. The State Director's Office will attempt to reschedule games as needed to complete the schedule. The standards above are in compliance with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and local counties.

Revised Date: April 2013.


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Berth Procedures for Maryland & Delaware USSSA Program

  1. Any team qualifying for a World Series (WS) berth, A or B, must participate in the USSSA State Tournament in order to validate that berth. A team's failure to participate in the State Tournament will result in their berth being rescinded. If a team forfeits all of their games in the State Tournament then they have not fulfilled the participation requirement. EXCEPTION: If USSSA limits entries in the State Tournament due to a maximum number of teams being reached, then a team is deemed to have fulfilled the participation requirement if it registers for the tournament and is willing and able to participate if a spot would open up within two weeks of the tournament. To participate in the "A", "B" & "Open" World Series teams must a) play in the state tournament and b) secure a berth by either finishing high enough in a qualifying event or participate in two additional tournaments.
  2. Any team looking to participate in the "C" World Series must be classified as a "C" team. The typical characteristics of a "C" team are described on our local website under the C & Rec/All-Star link. All team entries into this event will be scrutinized by the "C" World Series Tournament Director and USSSA event coordinators to ensure that the teams meet the eligibility criteria and to make sure that the competitive balance is what the teams expect. In the future, USSSA may initiate qualification procedures, but, at this point USSSA is offering a "C" World Series nationwide and the only requirement to participate is that teams be classified as "C" teams.
  3. A minimum of four teams must participate in order for a WS qualifying tournament to offer any berths. The following are general principles in awarding berths out of WS. (a) The amount of WS berths will be determined by the number of teams participating per age bracket as follows: 4-6 teams 1 Berth 7-12 teams 2 Berths 13-18 teams 3 Berths 19-24 teams 4 Berths 25 or more 5 Berths (b) If a team earns a berth to the WS but has already qualified, it's possible that berth may be awarded to the highest finishing team in the tournament which has not yet earned a berth. A berth will not be passed down to a team with a losing record in that tournament.
  4. Teams intending to participate in the World Series must submit their entry fee online to the national office. Each team's State Director will approve all eligible teams that register for the World Series. 5. Teams must have available at the World Series a copy of their current official USSSA roster with appropriate signatures, up to date insurance certificate, and birth certificates for all rostered players. Teams are also responsible for handling all other paperwork associated with the WS (eg, housing forms, admission passes, T-shirt orders, etc.).

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USSSA East Conduct Code

The goal of the United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA) is to offer our members a quality product in all aspects of the program. This begins with the service and cooperation they receive from our state office and ends with their experience on the playing field. To this end we are committed to making their tournament experience a positive one, both in terms of competitiveness and the comfort they experience in bringing their coaches, players, parents and sponsors to our many venues. To ensure that all of our tournaments are an enjoyable experience for everyone involved and that nothing which occurs during the operation of those tournaments reflects negatively toward the USSSA, its members, the park staffs or host towns, the following rules will serve as our conduct code at all times.

The team manager must have full control of him/herself and all team personnel (i.e., players, coaches, family members, etc), at all times, both on and off the playing field.

In the event of a disputed play or decision, only the team manager or captain(s), as designated at the start of the game, may consult with an umpire or tournament official. Other coaches, players and spectators are to remain in the team's designated area and not participate in the discussion unless called upon by an umpire or official.

Smoking and the use of other tobacco products are prohibited on the playing field as well as the players' bench area.

Managers are to report any unsportsmanlike conduct or derogatory acts to the tournament director, whether committed by someone from the manager's own team or another. This is to allow the director to prevent adverse situations from further developing into something that would be detrimental to the tournament or its participants.

Any substantiated report by hotel/park/town management regarding a USSSA registered team's destruction or abuse of hotel/park/town property or failure of that team to pay any financial obligation to said hotel/park/town are grounds for permanently barring that team from all future USSSA participation.

Failure to adhere to these or any other rules and procedures as set forth in an USSSA sanctioned event may result in actions taken against the team or individual held responsible. Such penalties include reprimands, fines, probation, suspension (game, event, year or multi-year) or permanent expulsion from USSSA sanctioned events.

USSSA has a reciprocal agreement with other softball organizations to uphold penalties and sanctions levied by those organizations against team personnel for unsportsmanlike or fraudulent conduct. In return, other organizations have agreed to honor and uphold penalties and sanctions levied by the USSSA in their events as well. This agreement is an outward expression of our intolerance toward gross misconduct among our participants.


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