Tournament Rules

Coaches Notes

Next Level Tournaments presents 1-1st place Trophy/Banner to the winner of the Championship Game. No individual or Second place trophies will be awarded.

• The entire tournament/contest schedule will be viewable through TeamSnap Tournaments App. Please note, “TeamSnap Tournaments App” is different from the “TeamSnap App”. Please have your parents follow the TeamSnap Tournament App to get updates and other important tournament information.

Coaches Checklist

•  All rosters must be logged into the TeamSnap Tournament App. Rosters are locked once registration closes.
•  Secondary team insurance certificate.
•  Coaches should keep copies of each players birth certificates.

No “Stay to Play”

Feel free to stay wherever you like.  One of the plus sides playing with us, we do NOT force teams to “Stay To Play”.

Tournament Withdrawl Policy

•  NLT will provide a full refund for any team withdrawing from tournaments; up to 5 days prior to scheduled start of the event.
•  Tournament withdrawals inside of 5 days from start date forfeit all tournament fees.
•  NLT does, if needed, mix ages/divisions to form brackets.

Rainout Policy

•  1 Game Played = $250 Entry Refund
•  2 Games Played = Full Tournament, no refunds
•  All refunds (withdrawal and rainout) take 5-7 days to process (in most cases 1 day)
•  In the event of rain and cancellations, trophies are not awarded unless a championship game is complete

The following NLT rules apply, all other rules follow NFHS rules

•  In pool play, a coin flip determines the home team.
•  Teams that forfeit pool play games, regardless of the reason, do not advance to bracket play.
•  The coin flip will be conducted by the umpiring crew at ground rules.
•  During the bracket play, the higher seeded team will be the home team in all games.
•  Time limits are:
•  1:40:00 for all ages 10U and above
•  1:30:00 for 9U
•  1:20:00 for 8U Coach Pitch.
     •  Only tournaments labeled “Showcase” are 2:00:00 time limits.
•  Inclement weather could force NLT to modify these established tournament game times.
•  Three baseballs per game provided
•  Each team should provide one slightly used ball at ground rules — all teams must chase foul balls or provide replacement baseballs.
•  Both teams should keep score books and should report the game score to the home plate umpire between innings.
•  Home team will maintain official game book and start time.
•  Game start time will be announced immediately after ground rules and confirmed with the home team scorebook.

Pitch Limits ALL AGES – 80 pitch max in a day – 95 pitch max in a 2 day weekend

  • 1-20 Pitches = 0 Days Rest (can pitch the next day)
  • 21-35 Pitches = 1 Day Rest 
  • 36-50 Pitches = 2 Days Rest
  • 51-65 Pitches = 3 Days Rest
  • 66+ Pitches = 4 Days Rest

Line-up batting options

1 – Bat the roster and be allowed free defensive substitutions.
2 – Play 9 Bat 9 or Play 9 Bat 10 with free defensive rotations with these 9/10 Players.
3 – Play 9 and DH for the pitcher.  (The Expanded DH Rule is in effect if teams choose to use it. NFHS Rule 3-1-4)

The designated hitter rule allows teams to use another player to bat in place of the pitcher. Because the pitcher is still part of the team’s nine defensive players, the designated hitter — or “DH” — does not take the field on defense.

  • The DH must be selected prior to the game, and that selected hitter must come to bat at least one time — unless the opposing team changes pitchers prior to that point. A team that chooses not to select a DH prior to a game is barred from using a DH for the rest of that game. A player who enters the game in place of the DH — either as a pinch-hitter or a pinch-runner — becomes the DH in his team’s lineup thereafter.
  • If a player serving as the DH is later used on defense, he continues to bat in his same lineup spot. But for the rest of the game, his team cannot use a DH to bat in place of the pitcher. A team is also barred from using a DH for the rest of the game if the pitcher moves from the mound to another defensive position, a player pinch-hits for any other player and then becomes the pitcher, or the current pitcher pinch-hits or pinch-runs for the DH.

•  Starters in Option 2 May re-enter one time in their ORIGINAL batting position. Substitutes removed from a game are ineligible to return.
•  Teams should report all substitutions to the home plate umpire and opposing score keeper.
•  If at anytime a player does not make his turn at bat due to injury and/or sickness and no sub is available, that turn at bat is recorded as an out. The opposing coach may waive this rule if approached prior to that at bat.
•  Teams may play a game with 7 players – The 8th and 9th batters in the order would be recorded as an out with each flip of the lineup
•  Courtesy runner, at anytime for a pitcher and/or a catcher, must be a sub if batting 9 or 10; or last batted out if batting roster.

Game Procedures – Pool and Championship Play

•  Pool play games will end in ties after allotted time has expired — pool play games that are tied after regulation will continue if time remains on the clock.
•  If elimination games are tied after time expires, NLT tie-breaker rules are played:
– Each team will start with the previous innings last batted on 2nd base
– 1 out
– 0-0 count on the batter
•  The following pool play tie breakers will be used for seeding in the championship rounds:
– Head to head play. (If Only Two Teams With Same Record)
– Total runs allowed (Used When More Than 2 Teams Have Same Record)
– Total runs scored
– Coin flip

•  No protests are allowed.  We will workout whatever situation we have and move forward.

9U Rules

•  46/60
•  No lead offs
•  Runners cannot leave the base until the ball crosses the plate. Runners will be sent back to the base if they leave early.
•  Dropped 3rd strike rule does not apply.
•  No stealing or advancing to home on a past ball / wild pitch. Runners are allowed to advance home on an errant throw back to the pitcher.
•  3rd base runner can advance to home if play is made at any base.
•  5 runs / inning max.
•  Unlimited runs In 6th inning

8U Coach Pitch Rules

•  5 runs / inning max.
•  10 runs in the 6th inning max.
•  6 Pitches max. to each batter unless umpire deems 6th pitch as not hittable.
•  3 strikes and out.
•  No stealing and no lead offs until ball is hit by the  batter into play – The runner can leave the base once the ball is hit by the batter.
•  Runners can advance on a live ball until one infielder has control of baseball inside of dirt infield area within the playing field. Runners awarded closest base on umpires judgment.
•  Pitchers must start to the side of coach pitching and prior to the pitch.
•  8U Coach Pitch 9 Fielders (3 Outfielders)
•  No Dropped 3rd Strike / No Infield Fly Rule / No Bunting Allowed.
•  Bases 60 ft – Mound 40 ft / 6 Inning Game / 1:20:00 time limit.
•  Coach must maintain 1 foot inside pitchers circle (8 ft around rubber) and must leave field of play once ball is hit by batter.
•  Innings will still be played if time allows even if one team can not match runs allowed.
•  Run Rules – 20 After 4 Innings / 15 After 5 Innings.

Balks and Intentional Walks

•  Balks will be called according to Major League Rules.
•  In 9U and 10U our umpires will help pitchers with balks.
•  In 11U-13U the umpires have the option to give each player one warning before a balk call is issued.
•  14U-18U balks will be called without warning.
•  Intentional walk’s will follow MLB rules and policies.
•  All teams should be prepared to start games 30 minutes prior to scheduled start time.  This allows NLT to keep pace with the tournament schedule.

Mercy Game Run Rules

•  20 After 1 Inning
• 15 After 2 Innings
• 12 After 3 Innings
• 10 After 4 Innings
• 8 After 5 Innings

Complete Game Rain Rules | All games are complete after:

•  6 Inning Games – 2 ½ Innings if home team is in the lead.
•  7 Inning Games – 3 ½ Innings if home team is in the lead.
•  In the event, rain / lightning forces a game to be called, incomplete games will resume where they left off, even if moved to the next day.
•  A new inning automatically begins after the 3rd out is recorded in the bottom half of the previous inning.
•  No new inning may start after the time limit has elapsed.
•  The official game time starts after ground rules are completed – Umpires will confirm official game start time with home book scorekeeper.
•  Championship games have a 2 hour time limit if it is the last game of day — run rules are still in effect.
•  Umpires can make modifications at the ground rules meeting before the start of the game.
•  NLT tournament directors will not be involved in counting pitches or innings pitched during  NLT Tournaments and Events.
•  The responsibility of managing pitch counts and innings rests with each team’s Head Coach.

NLT endorses the Pitch Smart program, developed by USA Baseball and Major League Baseball. This program is a series of practical, age appropriate guidelines to help parents, players and coaches avoid overuse.


•  Metal cleats are allowed in the 13U-18U divisions
•  No metal cleats on portable mounds.

Line-up Cards

•  Each team should prepare a written line-up, listing first and last names and numbers of all players/subs prior to each game.

Sliding Rules

•  NLT Follows NFHS slide rules.  Refer to NFHS base running rule section 8-4

Bat Restrictions

•  13U & Under must be stamped 1.15 BPF, USA, BBCOR, or WOOD.
•  14U Must Use -5 (drop 5) 1.15 stamped Bats or USA Stamped – BBCOR bats are allowed.
•  15U and Above must use BBCOR or Wood Bats with -3 (drop 3) drop ratio.
•  14U Teams Must Use BBCOR -3 when choosing to play up at 14U/15U mixed brackets.
•  Effective 6/16/17 | the Demarini 2017 CF Zen bats will be considered illegal In NLT tournaments.
•  Teams will receive a warning on the first infraction. Any more infractions thereafter, the batter will be called out.
•  Players will not be ejected from game.
•  Coaches will be ejected from that game on 2nd infraction.

Roster Rules

•  Each team’s roster is required to be uploaded to the Tournament Teamsnap App.
•  It is the manager’s responsibility to have his player’s birth certificates, or accepted proof of age identification, in the case of any questioning regarding the age of his players.
•  Failure to produce birth certificates will result in a forfeit if a roster is protested by the opposing team.
•  Players can be added and dropped from teams until registration closes for the tournament/contest.
•  A player can not reside on two different rosters.
•  A player can not play on two different teams in the same tournament/contest regardless of age unless approved by NLT tourney directors.
•  Teams found using ineligible players will immediately forfeit the game being  protested. The score will result in 7-0 loss.

Rules of Conduct – Disruptive Behavior

•  Next Level Tournaments strives to provide a great baseball and family atmosphere for its tournament participants and guests. No unsportsmanlike conduct by participants or fans will be tolerated, and penalty for such behavior will be removal from the grounds for the remainder of the tournament.
•  Coaches are responsible for themselves, their players, and families at all times. Any suspension/ejection imposed by umpires or NLT officials will be served during the game in progress and the next tournament game and/or tournament weekend. Applies for coaches and parents. Players are eligible for next game.

We do not use a “Stay To Play” policy
 Feel free to stay wherever you like.  We do NOT force teams to “Stay To Play”

Park Rules

• Please remove all items, including trash, from your dugout promptly at the completion of your game. Tournament schedules are always tight, so we ask that you clear the dugout first before talking with your team after the game.
•  No pets of any kind are allowed in any ballpark leased by NLT, regardless of park rules. Please help us ensure the safety of our participants and the cleanliness of our facility by leaving your pets at home.  Our relationships with our umpires and our venues are extremely important, keeping facilities clean and being friendly to umpires is a must!