USSSA Fastpitch Rules

With few exceptions, CT USSSA Fastpitch will abide by the rules and by-laws governed by the USSSA Fastpitch Rulebook. The on-line rulebook supersedes any printed edition. Like most softball sanctioning bodies the rules of USSSA play are virtually identical to Pony, ASA and other organizations. However, there are some differences. These following rules are the most commonly asked about by coaches and the following will be adhered to in ALL USSSA tournaments in Connecticut.

Downloadable USSSA Fastpitch Rules.

Common Rules Most Asked About.

Metal Spikes:  Metal spikes are allowed at tournaments for ages 13U and up. 

4 Pool Games: In 3-game pool play when an uneven number of teams exists, one team will play 4 pool games. The worst result of the 4 games will be dropped.  

DP/Flex: A team may use the Designated Player (DP)/FLEX option provided it is made known prior to the start of the game.

  • The DP’s name is indicated on the lineup as one of the batters in the batting order.
  • The name of the player for whom the DP is batting (FLEX) will be placed in the last position (non-batting) following the last batter in the lineup.
  • The DP must remain in the same position in the lineup for the entire game.
  • The DP may be substituted for at any time by a legal substitute or the FLEX.
  • If the starting DP is replaced on offense by the FLEX, the DP will leave the game. This reduces the number of players in the lineup by one. However the number of batters does not change.
  • If replaced by a substitute, the DP position remains in the lineup.
  • A starting DP may re-enter one time, as long as the DP returns to the original position in the batting order. If the DP re-enters or a substitute enters as the DP and the FLEX was batting in the DP’s spot, the FLEX can:
  1. return to the last position (non-batting) and play defense only, or
  2. leave the game.
  • The DP may play defense at any position.
  • The DP may play defense for a player other than the FLEX, that player will continue to bat but not play defense, and is not considered to have left the game.
  • The DP may play defense for the FLEX and the FLEX is considered to have left the game, reducing the number of players by eliminating the non-batting position in the lineup.
  • The FLEX player may be substituted for at any time by a legal substitute and the FLEX position remains in the lineup. 
  1. If the FLEX player is not playing defense, the non-batting FLEX position is eliminated and the FLEX player is out of the game Unless the FLEX player is playing offensive in the DP’s position, then the FLEX player may remain in the game and not play defense. 
  2. The FLEX position can be re-established if the FLEX player re-enters or is substituted for.
  3. If replaced by the DP, this eliminates the non-batting position.
  4. If the FLEX re-enters or a substitute enters as the FLEX and the DP was playing defense in the FLEX player’s spot,
  • a). the DP can return to batting only, play defense for another player and the non-batting position is re-established or
  • b). The DP can leave the game if the FLEX plays offense for the DP.
  • Placing the FLEX into one of the batting positions for someone other than the DP’s position is considered an illegal substitution. The illegal substitute shall be removed from the game and restricted to the dugout/bench.

Additional Player- up to two Additional Players (APs) can be used to increase the batting order to 10 or 11 batters. Teams may use additional APs to bat their entire roster (Roster Batting), subject to the restrictions of Rules 5.2 and 5.3 in the rule book. The AP(s) will be placed in the batting order in the positions to be occupied. The AP(s) can also be used on defense (only 9 defensive players in the field), but must keep the same position in the batting order. The AP(s), if used, must be selected prior to the start of the game, and their name(s) must be included on the lineup card presented to the Umpire. Failure to declare the use of the AP(s) prior to the game precludes the use of the AP(s) in that game. If a pinchhitter or pinch-runner is used for an AP, that player becomes the new AP. The original AP(s) may re-enter like any other player under the re-entry rule. If an AP is used, the position must be used the entire game.

Roster Batting may be used and must be declared prior to the start of the game. This means all players in the lineup will bat. The team must use roster batting for the full duration of the game. APs and DP/Flex can still be used.

Courtesy Runners will be allowed for the catcher and pitcher at any time by a legal courtesy runner. If a team does not have a legal courtesy runner remaining they can use the Last Completed At-Bat as a courtesy runner subject to the same rules and restrictions as regular courtesy runners. 

Jewelry that is non-hanging or non-dangling stud type ear or nose piercings only may be worn. Players in the game are prohibited from wearing jewelry such as rings, watches, hanging or dangling earrings, bars or other piercing type jewelry whether covered with tape or not, bracelets, necklaces (including cloth and string type), or other hard decorative items. Unadorned devices with no sharp edges or points, such as bobby pins, barrettes and hair clips, no longer than 2 inches, may be worn to control a player’s hair. Medical alert bracelets or necklaces are not considered jewelry. If worn they must be taped to the body, so as to remain visible. Coaches wristbands (play indicators) are legal but must be worn as designed. Exposed jewelry, which is judged by the umpire to be dangerous, must be removed and may not be worn during the game.