• Maryland; Delaware & Western PA Fastpitch Softball / Baseball

Rules and Regulations

Softball player at bat

This page outlines specific rule information for the USSSA Fastpitch Program in Maryland and Delaware. It includes information on the USSSA national rulebook, "C" and Rec/All-Star Program rule exceptions, registration year, age eligibility, equipment and insurance.

Rule Book

You will find the complete rules and regulations in the USSSA Rule Book.

View Rule Book

For the 2022 USSSA Fastpitch Rule Changes, click here .

Maryland & Delaware Local Tournament Rules

Local rules and regulations utilized for Maryland & Delaware USSSA Fastpitch Event can be found on the link below.  These rules do not apply to national events.

View Local Rules

Maryland & Delaware USSSA 10U "C" & "All-Star" Rules

For 10U "C" and "All-Star" tournaments in Maryland & Delaware the following rule exceptions or points of emphasis will apply to the latest edition of standard USSSA fastpitch rules, which can be found online at either www.usssa.com or www.usssa1.com.

  1. The dropped third strike rule does not apply. Whether or not the 3rd strike is caught, the batter is out. The ball is still live and runners may steal 2nd and 3rd bases if they so choose. Runners may not advance to home on a dropped third strike.
  2. Base stealing is permitted under the following rule exceptions:
    • Runners may not steal home or advance to home as part of stealing a base or bases.
    • Runners may steal one or more bases per pitch to include a batter who receives a base on balls advancing to second or even third when receiving a base on balls.
    • Runners starting at third base may not steal home, but are liable to be put out if they are off the base when a play is made on them. See rule #4 below for clarification on how runners may score a run.
  3. A 5 run limit per inning shall be imposed for the first 2 innings of the game. All subsequent innings shall have no run limit.
  4. Runners may only score on:
    • A batted ball
    • A base on balls or hit by pitch with bases loaded – the runner on third is forced to home under this situation.
    • An awarded base when the ball goes out of play to include a pitch that goes out of play
10 & Under "C" and Rec/All-Star rule exceptions, click here

The Registration "Year"

We are currently in the 2022 season. The softball "year" for USSSA runs from August 1 to July 31. All tournaments scheduled after August 1 are considered 2022 events and in order to participate in them a team must be registered for 2022. In short, all the teams that were created and all rosters that were submitted for the 2021 season expired on July 31, 2021.

Under the USSSA website, a manager establishes a one-time account, and then creates teams under that account from year to year. On or shortly after July 1 managers should create their 2022 team, particularly if they plan on playing any USSSA tournaments between August and December. Otherwise, they can certainly wait until next year to create their team.

Before a manager can create a 2022 team, he/she must complete a background check through their managers account. Once that is cleared, he/she can then create their team for 2022. Managers must enter their roster online just as they did for 2021, print the roster and have each player and parent sign it. One thing that makes entering your roster easier the second time around is that any player that previously played on a team that the manager has under their account will already be in the system. If the manager wants to retain that player for 2022 (or at least the fall of 2021) then all he/she has to do is highlight the player under the "Add Former Player" section and hit the submit button.

NOTE: If a player has played a prior season with USSSA, do not create another account for this player. Please make sure the correct spelling was used from the prior season. If a player cannot be located, please email stephanie@usssa1.com. 

Roster Age Eligibility

Now, here's the catch. The age cut off is still based on the calendar year, however the age eligibility for 2022 teams will change beginning August 1, 2021.

It's a bit easier to think of it this way: What is the age of the player as of December 31, 2021? That is her roster age for the 2022 season which will begin August 1, 2021.

Below is a breakdown of age eligibility for the 2022 season. Managers must be aware of the age eligibility cut off in order to properly classify the age of your team for the fall season.

You may also click here to be connected to the USSSA Age Calculator.

Age Eligibility According to Birth Year for the 2022 Season (which begins August 1, 2021)

Age Group Birth Date
10U 2011-2016
11U 2010-2015
12U 2009-2014
13U 2008-2013
14U 2007-2012
15U 2006-2011
16U 2005-2010
18U 2003-2009

Equipment Regulations

The button below will take you to the current USSSA national equipment regulations for balls, bats and other equipment.

View Regulations

Insurance Requirements

Proof of adequate insurance must be filed with the State Office two weeks prior to the team's first tournament. The insurance need not be issued through USSSA, but must provide at least $1 million in liability coverage. Every year there are teams who think that they're adequately covered when in fact they either have no liability insurance at all (only accident coverage) or have very low liability limits.

View Insurance Program

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