Slo-Pitch Tour Rules
These rules were last updated: May 1st, 2018
Slo-Pitch Tour (SPT) retains the rights to update, amend and change the rules listed here at any time and all new additions and updates will appear here in our website. When not listed otherwise, SPT uses standard Slo-Pitch rules. Please contact SPT of any inquirers involving these rules.
FIELD PARTICULARS – Includes Strike Mat, Commitment and Scoring Lines, Pitching Rubber, Ground Rules.
Strike Mat, Commitment and Scoring Line. SPT uses the Strike Mat at home plate when applicable as well as the Commitment Line and Scoring Lines. SPT uses a standard Commitment Line of 20 feet from home plate with some visible lines identifying the Commitment Line and Scoring Line, drawn between the foul line and away from the playing field. If the lines fades or gets erased, please advise an Umpire or SPT official who will have the lines chalked again.
Pitching Rubber. A two foot wide pitching rubber is recommended to be 65 feet from home plate while pitchers are afforded the ability to pitch between 50 to 65 feet from home plate. If no pitching rubber exists it is recommended a chalked line appear on the playing field.
Ground Rules. SPT Umpires are advised to explain any field ground rules to the coaches prior to the game or when asked. Many fields may have ground rules that differ from one field to another such as boundaries and out of play areas. When in doubt Coaches are advised to clarify with the Umpires or SPT officials ground rules for a particular field.
EQUIPMENT – Includes Bats, Gloves, Cleats, Balls, Safety Bag and Team Uniforms
Bats. SPT does not allow the use of altered bats and all bats must be approved by the Umpire of the game prior to use in a game without exception. If a SPT Umpire deems a bat as not approved the bat is not allowed to be used in a SPT game. Standard bats allowed must not exceed 38 ounces with dimensions not longer than 34 inches in length and 2 ¼ inches in diameter. All bats must have a safety grip between 10 and 15 inches from the handle of the bat. If you have a bat you are not sure is approved, please ask the Umpire or SPT officials. If the Umpire has not advised the player already, the player must change the bat immediately and is not out or ejected. When an Umpire advises a bat is not approved, any player caught using that bat is out and ejected from the game. SPT may at their discretion further suspend that player from the current tournament and all future tournaments.
Gloves. SPT allows pitchers, catchers and first basemen to use trapper style gloves while all other positions must use regular type gloves. If you are unsure if a glove is legal, please ask your Umpire or SPT official.
Cleats. SPT does not allow the use of metal cleats or cleats with exposed metal. If you are unsure if your cleats are legal, please ask your Umpire or SPT official. Players wearing these style shoes will immediately have to change or be ejected from the game. SPT may at their discretion further suspend that player from the current tournament and all future tournaments.
Balls. SPT official softballs are used in our tournaments and vary depending on the SPT tournament being played. Mostly SPT uses Worth Softballs with internal composition of the ball marked on the ball.
Safety Bag. SPT uses a safety double base at first base preferably marked white in fair territory and orange in foul territory. All batters first touch of first base must touch some portion of the orange if a play is made at first base, or this player is out and vice versa the defending player making a play at first base must hit some portion of the white part of the safety double base, or they will be deemed to have missed first base. After a batters first touch of first base now only the white part of the safety double base is in play.
Team Uniform. SPT recommends all players wear the team jersey SPT provides for them but understands fitting issues do sometimes occur. Players must dress appropriate in all SPT games and are not allowed to go shirtless. Umpires and SPT officials have the final say in what is appropriate for all SPT Tournaments.
SPT PROCEDURES – Includes Coaches, Coin Flips for Home & Visiting Teams, Game Score Sheets, Innings Played, Extra-Inning Games, Fields Behind 15+ Minutes, Runs per Inning, Mercy Rule, Open Innings, Forfeited Games, Rain Outs, Cancelled Games, Player Safety, Blood
Coaches. Each SPT team, when possible, has a Coach who has been recognized and approved by SPT. The coach’s duties and responsibilities include;
• Having all players contact information and all players having the Coach’s contact information;
• All team communications with SPT officials prior to and during a SPT Tournament;
• Showing up at SPT headquarters in advance of your teams first game to pick up your teams jersey’s and other information;
• Ensuring your team has approved bats and foot ware and when in doubt asking the Umpire or SPT officials;
• Preparing your teams batting order and playing positions for your teams players and having your batting order on an official score sheet and exchanged with your opponents prior to every SPT game;
• Making in game decisions for your team;
• All communications for each team and the game Umpire are made by the Coach;
• Ensuring when the winning team your score sheet is returned to SPT headquarters and when the losing team your teams score sheet is given to the game Umpire.
• SPT considers it an honor to be a Coach of your team. We thank all those for partaking in this important part of our tournaments.
Coin Flip for Home & Visiting. Home Teams and Visiting Teams are determined by a coin flip made by the Umpire at the start of every game. The team winning the coin flip has the right to be either the Home Team or the Visiting team, as well as choice of playing dugouts (selecting either first or third base side of the field). So the coin flip winner can select to be the Visiting team and still choose their preferred dugout. Visiting teams always bat first.
Game Score Sheets. Game Score Sheets are available from SPT headquarters, as well as from game Umpires and must be filled out properly according to information provided inside the score sheet and should include players names, jersey number and SPT number, provided to the Coach of each team by the SPT officials. Both Home and Visiting teams should share each other’s batting orders preferably by 15 minutes prior to the game start time when possible. Winning teams shall return their game score sheet to the SPT headquarters while the losing team shall give theirs to the game Umpire. Coaches may retrieve Game Score Sheets from SPT headquarters for their keeping once the official game score sheet has been undated live in the SPT website.
Innings Played, Extra-Inning Games, Fields Behind 15+ Minutes. Tournament games are seven innings in length. For each inning starting with the top of the 8th inning the preceding batter to the batter leading off the inning starts at second base with normal substitution procedures in place for this runner. For Tournament play no new inning past the 8th inning starts if the next schedule game is already 15 minutes behind scheduled start time, unless the game is an elimination game. For Tournament play, no inning past the 9th is played unless an elimination game. Games ending tied, count as one point per team in the standings, with the runs scored and allowed counted as the ending tied score of the game. Once a field becomes 15 minutes behind the scheduled start time of the next game, batters counts start at 1-1 (One Ball & One Strike) for the duration of that game.
Runs per Inning, Mercy Rule, Open Innings. SPT uses the 6 run limit per non-open innings. A lead of 12 runs constitutes a mercy rule which is in effect after 4 ½ (four and a half innings) and each inning thereafter. Only the 7th inning is an open inning. If a home run or such hit is hit with base runners on base, only the first 6 runs will count as scored in an inning, unless the inning is open.
Forfeited Games. Teams must have a minimum 9 players to start and complete the game. Teams are only granted 15 minutes past the regular starting time of their game, if field is on schedule, and only 5 minutes if the field is already 15 or more minutes past start time, to field a team or face a forfeited game. The score of a forfeited game is 7-0 in favour of the non-forfeiting team. There is no excuse for this to ever occur. If you as a Coach know your team will be short, contact the SPT Conveners as soon as you know for allowable replacement players. At any point in a game, a team cannot field a minimum of 9 players, the game is forfeited.
Rain Outs, Cancelled Games. SPT will try and reschedule any rained out games when possible. Rain out games are scored as two points per team in the standings and 7-7 for runs scored and allowed.
Player Safety, Blood. Players are advised to make aware the SPT officials and/or Game Umpire of any field conditions they deem to be unsafe. Once a game has started the game Umpire is in charge as to whether field conditions are suitable to continue to play a game. Players who are injured and bleeding are to be given only a reasonable amount of time to clean up and stop the bleeding, including replacing a bloody uniform. SPT does not have a Jewellery Rule, however, players must use common sense and Umpires may ask players to remove unsafe Jewellery.
Umpires at SPT tournaments have first aid kits so don’t hesitate to ask for bandages and the like if required.
BATTING – Includes Batting Order (Men’s & Women’s), Batting Order (Father-Son), Rosters, Batting Order (Mixed or Coed), Injuries & Replacement Players, Injured Players During a Game - Replaced, Players Arriving Late
Batting Order (Men’s & Women’s). SPT Tournaments puts a maximum of 11 players on each Roster for Men’s and Women’s tournaments. All players on a team’s Roster bat and can play the field with a minimum of 9 and maximum of 10 defensive players at one time.
Batting Order (Father-Son). SPT Tournaments puts a maximum of 12 players on each Roster for Father-Son Tournaments. All players on a team’s Roster bat and can play the field with a minimum of 9 and maximum of 10 defensive players at one time.
Rosters, Batting Order (Mixed or Coed). SPT Tournaments puts a maximum of 12 players on each Roster for Mixed or Coed tournaments. A batting order must alternate (male-female-male or female-male-female from the top of the lineup until which time that is no longer possible for the Rosters players. In SPT Tournaments, all team’s Rosters will have the same ratio of men & women when possible, and no two teams will have a difference of either two more or two less men, or two more or two less women on their Roster to start the tournament. It is possible for a difference of one more or less man or one more or less women on a team’s Roster then another team’s Roster, totally based on the number of entries and number of teams in a SPT Tournament. The SPT Singles Tour Tournaments along with the SPT Family Tour Tournaments are considered Mixed and Coed.
Injuries & Replacement Players. Important - Please advise your Coach as soon as you know you cannot make a game for any reason. Coaches can advise SPT who may have a replacement player, usually from another team or from the Waiting List of players, play as a replacement player on your team. This is the sole discretion of SPT who will usually ask a player playing in the previous or next game, and with a lower career batting average, when possible, preferably who plays the same position, when possible, as the injured/replaced player. This replacement player must bat last on the official batting lineup.
Injured Players During a Game - Replaced. SPT Tournaments limit the number of players on teams, so players can play more. Sometimes when injuries occur, there is no replacement. If a player is hurt during a game and no longer can bat, his spot is just skipped in the batting order, and he is not an out. However, that player can no longer bat or play field for the remainder of the game. Coaches must advise the Umpire prior to skipping a players at bat due to injury and failing to do so constitutes the batting out of order rule. If an injured player is skipped over, they are not out, but just as if they were not in the batting order at all. If a player has been ejected, that player is out each time his turn in the batting order arrives. Teams still must field a minimum of 9 players defensively or will default the game. If a team only has 10 players and a player is injured during a game, a Coach should immediately contact SPT officials who will attempt to find a replacement player who would, in this rare situation, replace the injured player in the batting lineup in the same batting spot in the order of the injured player. SPT Tournaments are intended to be social and fun for all involved. No one likes to see injuries ever, although they do happen in all sports. Coaches must be diligent and understand no team can continue to play with only 8 players, but it should never get to this point. If SPT officials cannot find a replacement player within 5 minutes, and a team cannot place a minimum 9 players in the field, the game becomes a forfeited game. The score of this forfeited game is 7-0 or the current score if better for the non-forfeiting team.
Players Arriving Late. Roster players arriving late for a game are allowed to enter the game at any portion of the game, even if a team has batted through their batting order. If the team had a replacement player filling in, the roster player arriving late will take over the replacement player’s spot in the batting order and the replacement player is officially out of the game, unless the team only had 9 players currently in their lineup, at which time the late arriving player may just assume the last position in the batting order and play in the game. In all other circumstances, a player arriving late assumes the final (last) position in the batting order.
DEFENSIVE Includes Defensive Positions (Mixed or Coed), Overthrown Ball
Defensive Positions (Mixed or Coed). Infield and outfield positions may consist of any combinations of men and women with a minimum of 9 and maximum of 10 defensive players on the field at one time. No team can sit on the bench two woman in any defensive inning, unless the team’s available roster consists of more female then male players, or they have an additional female player in their team’s lineup when compared to their opponents. This rule allows teams to “Match” their opponent’s defensive alignment if desired to do so. Example: Team A has 4 Females and Team B has 5 Females, Team A can sit one female player an inning, Team B can sit 2 female players an inning. Both teams would be playing 3 Females players in the field in this example.
Overthrown Ball. When one player throws a ball to another and for any reason the ball goes to what is considered out of bounds territory, all base runners are awarded two bases from the last legally touched base at the time of the throw.
PITCHING Includes Warm Up Pitches, Arc Minimum/Maximum, No Pitch, Illegal Pitch
Warm Up Pitches. A pitcher is granted 5 warm up pitches prior to the start of the first inning and one warm up pitch each inning the rest of the game. For fields that are behind the Umpire may declare teams cannot throw the ball around the horn to speed up play.
Arc Minimum/Maximum, No Pitch, Illegal Pitch. Pitches must be perceived to be at least 6 feet from the ground and a maximum of 12 feet in height. If the umpire calls No Pitch, the ball is dead. If the umpire calls Illegal Pitch or his words to that affect, for pitches not conformation with the rules it is an automatically ball unless the batter swings, making it a live ball.
BASERUNNING Includes Walks (Mixed or Coed), Leading Off, Commitment Line & Scoring Line, Courtesy Runners
Walks (Mixed or Coed). If a male batter is walked they are awarded first base unless a female batter follows in the order, at which time the male is awarded second base and the female must bat.
Leading Off. A base runner is out if they fail to maintain contact with their bag until which time the pitched ball is either batted (fair or foul), bounces off the ground (or batter) or touched by the catcher.
Commitment Line & Scoring Line. If a base runner touches any part of the Commitment Line or the ground between the Commitment Line and Scoring Line, they are committed to score and must continue to the Scoring Line. Any base runner committed to score who then retreats towards third base is automatically out. Base runners are not allowed to slide at the Scoring Line or touch or cross over the home plate or strike mat in fair territory and base runners doing either are called out. A base runner may be tagged out at any time before crossing the Scoring Line. Any base runner who touches the Scoring Line before he is out will count as a run scored. There is never a time intentional collisions are allowed and players causing intentional collisions based on the umpire’s decision may be ejected from the game.
Courtesy Runners. Each team is awarded a maximum of three (3) courtesy runners per game and males for females are not permitted. If the batter due to bat is on base and no courtesy runners remain, that batter is called out.
STANDINGS - TIE-BREAKING PROCEDURES
Wins – Teams are awarded 2 (two) points in the standings for each win
Loses – Teams are awarded 0 (zero) points in the standings for each loss
Played Ties - If a game is tied after 8 or 9 innings, both teams are awarded 1 (one) point in the standings and the score is the final score
Cancellations Ties – Teams are both awarded 2 (two) points in the standings (Rainouts count as 7-7 tie)
A Divisions Standings are sorted by most points, with the team with the most points ahead.
If Two Teams are Tied with the same Amount of Points:
1) The team who won, scoring the most runs, in their head to head game is ahead;
2) If still tied (say that game ended in a tied score), the Highest Plus/Minus is ahead. IE – Team A (15 Runs For, 10 Runs Allowed) is +5, Team B (22 Scored, 18 Allowed), +4. In this example Team A is ahead;
3) If still tied (say both teams were +5), the team with the most runs scored would be ahead. In our previous example, Team B outscored Team A, 22-15 in the runs scored category; and
4) If still tied, they have also clearly allowed the same number of runs so a Coin Flip breaks the tie.
If Three Teams are Tied with the same Amount of Points
1) Did one team beat both other teams, scoring the most runs in both head to head games, if so they are ahead, the other two teams will break their tie using the “If Two Teams are Tied with the same Amount of Points” rule;
2) If still tied, the team with the Highest Plus/Minus is ahead and the other two teams will break their tie using the “If Two Teams are Tied with the same Amount of Points” rule. However, if two teams have the Highest Plus/Minus, these teams will break their tie using the “If Two Teams are Tied with the same Amount of Points” rule and the other team is third place;
3) If still tied, the team with the Most Runs Scored is ahead and the other two teams will break their tie using the “If Two Teams are Tied with the same Amount of Points” rule. However, if two teams have the Most Runs Scored, these teams will break their tie using the “If Two Teams are Tied with the same Amount of Points” rule and the other team is third place;
4) If still tied, they all have also clearly allowed the same number of runs so Coin Flips breaks the tie.
If Four Teams are Tied with the same Amount of Points
1) The team with the Highest Plus/Minus is ahead and the other three teams will break their tie using the “If Three Teams are Tied with the same Amount of Points” rule. However, if two teams have the Highest Plus/Minus, these teams will break their tie using the “If Two Teams are Tied with the same Amount of Points” rule to determine first and second and the other two teams will do so to determine third and fourth places. However, if three teams have the Highest Plus/Minus, these teams will break their tie using the “If Three Teams are Tied with the same Amount of Points” rule and the other team is fourth.
2) If still tied, the team with the Most Runs Scored is ahead and the other three teams will break their tie using the “If Three Teams are Tied with the same Amount of Points” rule. However, if two teams have the Most Runs Scored, these teams will break their tie using the “If Two Teams are Tied with the same Amount of Points” rule to determine first and second and the other two teams will do so to determine third and fourth places. However, if three teams have the Most Runs Scored, these teams will break their tie using the “If Three Teams are Tied with the same Amount of Points” rule and the other team is fourth.
3) If still tied, they all have also clearly allowed the same number of runs so Coin Flips breaks the tie.