Tri-State Elite Rules

PLAYING RULES

The interpretation of playing rules shall be that as defined by the American League of Professional Baseball Clubs (Official Baseball Rules), with the exception of the following special league rules:

LEAGUE CUTOFF DATE

April 30th

Players must play in the division based on their age eligibility. Players may play up in age division; however, there are no hardships where they may play down. It is the coach’s responsibility to ensure roster players are of proper age. After a warning to the manager where a violation has been noted, a subsequent violation will result in the suspension of the manager for that season.

BAT RULE

Bat Size:

  • 10U and Below: 2 ¼” barrel (No big barrel bats permitted)
  • 11U and 12U: 2 5/8” barrel or less
  • 13U: 2 5/8” barrel (Drop can not be higher than a –9)
  • 14U: 2 5/8” barrel (-5 drop)
  • 16U and Above: 2 5/8” barrel (-3 drop) and BBCOR standards.

Tampering with bats is strictly prohibited. If a bat is tampered with or an illegal bat is used, the result will be a dead ball out if a batted ball was put in play and the batter advanced to any base.

In the fall, players may use the same bat size as they did during the spring/summer season. 14U division players moving up to the 15/16U division in the fall may use the same bat as they did in the spring/summer. It is not required to be BBCOR standard if not a -3.

2018 TSE BAT RULES - Effective January 1, 2018

Beginning on January 1, 2018, TSE will be adopting the USA Bat standard for League and TSE tournament play. The new standard will not have a drop-weight limit for ages 14 and below.

Bat Size:

  • 12U and Below: USA Baseball Marking -  2 5/8” barrel No BBCOR Bats
  • 13U and 14U: USA Baseball Marking or BBCOR .50 -  2 5/8” Barrel
  • 15U and Above: All Bats Must Be BBCOR .50. No Greater Than -3

SLIDE RULE

If a defensive player is in possession of the ball, the base runner must slide or veer (leaping over a fielder is permitted providing there is no contact) in order to avoid a collision. If a defensive player does not have possession of the ball, he may not block or obstruct the base runner, and must avoid a collision if possible. Any contact or collision deemed by the umpire to be intentional and avoidable shall be cause for ejection from the game of the offending player.

STEALING (9U and 10U)

A player may steal at the time the ball crosses the plate. The ruling will be an immediate dead ball if the runner leaves too soon. The first time will be a team warning, and the second time the runner will be ruled out.

LINEUP

Teams will have the discretion to select one of the following options that must be declared prior to the start of the game. Further, this option must be utilized for the entire game.

  • Bat the entire lineup
  • Bat nine
  • Bat ten, utilizing an Extra Player (EP). You may only use one EP.
  • If you are batter the order, there is NO out taken if a player must leave the game providing the lineup does not go below nine players.

A team may start with no fewer than eight players. If a team starts with eight, any additional player(s) that shows up shall be placed at the bottom of the batting order. In a regular season TSE game, a team with only eight players will not be forced to take an out when the ninth position in the batting order comes up; however in playoff and tournament play, the ninth position shall be deemed an out.

DEFENSIVE SUBSTITUTIONS

The ability to use defensive substitutions will be based on the lineup option that was selected.

  • Bat entire lineup - Unlimited defensive substitutions.
  • Bat nine - Must following official playing rules; however, starters may re-enter (once). Further, once a sub has been removed, he may not re-enter with the exception of injury.
  • Bat ten using an EP - Same rules as playing nine apply; however, the substitution rules apply to the ten players in the starting lineup.  

DESIGNATED HITTER (DH)

We will use a designated hitter for age divisions 15 and older.

COURTESY RUNNER

Speed up rule - Recommended for the catcher with two outs. The runner will either be the last recorded out (if batting the lineup) or any player on the bench who is not currently in the game (batting nine or using an EP). You may also use a runner for the pitcher with two outs. This is optional. The same rule applies in the selection of the courtesy runner. The catcher will be defined as the player who will be playing that position the upcoming inning, not the inning of record.

PITCHING

See separate TSE rules on RECOMMENDED PITCHING GUIDELINES for pitchers. Once a pitcher has been removed from the mound, he can no longer re-enter the game as a pitcher. No exceptions.

BALKS

Balks do not apply to age divisions under 11U. We will issue one warning per pitcher per game at 11U and 12U throughout the season. A balk warning is a dead ball. There will be no warning at ages 13U and above. The fake to third play is still permitted without penalty.

PROTEST OPPORTUNITIES

There will be no formal protests permitted to the League. All decisions will be determined on the field by the umpires. Managers will be asked to submit rule discrepancies to the League for further review. In the turn, the League will communicate to all teams for clarification purposes.

GAME

Innings

  • 12U and Below: 6 innings
  • 13U and Above: 7 innings

Field Dimensions

  • 10U and Below: 46/60
  • 11U and 12U: 50/70
  • 13U and Above: 60/90

TIME LIMITS

  • 12U and Below: No new inning can start two (2) hours after official start of the game. An inning must be finished.
  • 13U and Above: No new inning can start two and one quarter (2 1/4) hours after official start of the game. An inning must be finished.
  • Games are permitted to go into extra innings; however, if the time limit is brought into play, no new inning can begin which may result in some games being played to a tie.
  • Teams may opt to play a nine inning game in lieu of playing a double header. That game will be recorded as a single game in the schedule.

MERCY RULE

12U and Below: 10 runs after four innings

13U and Above: 10 runs after five innings

GAMES CALLED DUE TO DARKNESS, RAIN AND TIME LIMITS

Early in the season, many games are not finished due to the field not having lights (darkness). Whereas we would like to see every game completed to the end, we must enforce these games similar to a rain out. The score would have to revert back to the last completed full inning of play, unless the Home was winning or took the lead in the bottom half of the inning when the game was called. A complete game is defined as three complete innings for a 12U and under game, and four innings for a 13U and above game.

CATCHER’S EQUIPMENT

Catcher’s helmet gear must provide ear protection. As a result, no skull caps are permitted.

METAL CLEATS

Permitted only at 13U and Above Age Divisions

TYPE OF BASEBALLS

Full grain leather; raised seam; and composite cork and rubber center.

ROSTER SIZE

Limit to participate in League (24) and Playoffs (15)

PLAYER ELIGIBILITY

A player must play in a minimum of 50% of the number of games necessary to qualify for the playoffs. For example, if 20 games are required to qualify for the playoffs, a player must play in at least 10 games to be eligible.

TOURNAMENT GAMES

Only TSE, TSE Sanctioned and Sports at the Beach (SATB) tournament games will count towards league games.

INTENTIONAL WALK

Speed up rule – The pitcher or manager may inform the umpire their intention to walk the batter to first base.

REPORTING GAME RESULTS

It will be the WINNING team's responsibility to e-mail the results of the game so that the standings can be timely and accurately reflected. When reporting a double header, report the results of both games if you split.

All scores must be reported by the winning team within 72 hours of the game being played (by the winning team). Scores not reported within 72 hours may not count, nor be reflected in the standings. When reporting, please indicate your age division along with both teams and date of game.

SCHEDULING GAMES

Please do not do any scheduling until the coaches listing comes out. The time will be announced in advance. It is strongly recommended that the coach or a representative be available when the list goes out as most teams do their scheduling then. All scheduling will take place via text, phone or email. If you are registering for your team, but will not be the contact person for scheduling and administration throughout the season, please send us an email on how you want your coaches listed in the listing and we will update appropriately. Coaches that do pre-schedule will be left off the list when it goes out on the scheduling date. As scheduling games is an on-going process with open dates, cancellations, etc., send in your updated schedule to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

RE-SCHEDULING GAMES

It is the HOME team's responsibility to contact the umpire association for any change to the existing schedule.

IN SEASON TRANSFER OF A PLAYER TO ANOTHER TEAM

A player may transfer to another team during the season. For playoff purposes, he is eligible for the last team is was rostered on. To be eligible, he must met player requirements.

PLAYING ON TWO TEAMS (E.G., Middle School/Travel Team)

You can play on two teams at the same time only of it is a circumstance that it is for your school team and your travel team. Typically, school teams end their season early and do not participate in the playoffs. Further, a player may play on separate TSE teams, but in different age divisions.

Playing on two teams within one age division is not permissible. If a player is playing on two teams, it will be viewed as using an illegal player and the game will be subject to a forfeit. If there is an issue, only the manager may report it. TSE will not respond to e-mails from parents regarding this matter. If it is brought to TSE’s attention, it will be addressed within 24 hours to both managers. The player must decide and disclose what team he will be playing for. Such instances will be communicated in a note at the divisional level to all coaches. Thereafter, if a player knowingly plays for two separate teams in the same age division he faces the risk of being suspended from the league for the remainder of the season. Outside of the middle school program, there are no exceptions to this rule.

A player may play on two teams in separate age divisions (league eligible on one team, playing up on the other team); however, he must have met player requirements to be eligible for the playoffs.

COACHES BOX

Coaches are not required to wear the protective batting helmets when coaching first and third base for ages 13U and above (as voted on by the coaches); however, TSE highly recommends the use of the protective helmet for safety purposes.

DOCUMENTATION

Teams will be required to maintain the following documentation on hand for every game – current team roster, validation of birth and team insurance. Challenge of any player for the league cutoff date is to take place before the start of the game between both coaches. If a player is challenged and the coach does not have birth support for the player, he will not be permitted to play that game. There is no challenge (nor subsequent protest) once the game has started. If a player is listed on more than one roster (playing on two teams) a protest can be made and a forfeit may be awarded upon review by the TSE.

CANCELLATIONS/FOFEITS

A game will not be considered to be cancelled if weather related (as deemed by the home team) or mutually agreed upon by both coaches. A game is deemed to be a cancellation if both teams are not in agreement. Further, a team will have a grace period of 72 hours to notify the other team in order to allow them time to seek and find a replacement. In order for a game to be deemed a cancellation, not only must it be a game cancelled within the 72 hour window, but a team must demonstrate that they performed due diligence in reaching out to the opposing coach to confirm days prior to the game. If a team does reply back to TSE’s inquiry of a (cancelled) game in question, it will be deemed a cancellation and a forfeit will be applied.

If there is a dispute of any kind, please send an e-mail to TSE at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The TSE board will discuss the matter and render a decision in a timely manner. Please do not get into a battle of e-mail exchanges. No one wins when this happens.

All games deemed cancelled will be declared a forfeit. If a game was not verbally confirmed between the coaches, it will not be considered a cancellation. The TSE board will have final say on a cancellation after reviewing all matters regarding the game.

  • First Offense – required meeting by the coach with TSE Board.
  • Second Offense – banned from the playoffs in current season.
  • Third Offense – Removed from the league effective immediately. All future games will be cancelled.

Teams removed from the league will have an opportunity for reinstatement during the fall season after a meeting with the Board. There will be a discussion between all parties to determine if the team should be reinstated.

Where there is a cancelled/forfeit game where a team did not show up, that team must reimburse ½ umpire fee to the other team. If a team fails to reimburse the umpire fee(s) to the home team within two weeks, that team will be suspended until that fee has been paid. Each home team should secure an agreement with their association where only a half fee be paid for a game that was not played.

Lastly, if a cancellation occurs and the team is able to secure another opponent for the same day to replace that game, a forfeit will still be assessed to the canceling team.

INSURANCE REQUIREMENTS

All teams are required to send a copy of their insurance for each season via e-mail or regular mail. The following information must be added to the insurance policy as additional insured:

TSE
PO Box 1354
Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971

REGISTRATION POLICY

Any team that receives the proprietary coaches listing will not receive a refund if they decide not to participate. Additionally, any team that has registered and received the proprietary coaches list will be responsible for any outstanding fees regardless if they didn’t schedule or play any games.

FAKE BUNT/SLASH BUNT (Ages 7U through 12U)

A batter is out for illegal action when the player fakes a bunt and then takes a full swing, thus eliminating a player from fake bunting (slap-hitting) the ball.  Penalty:  Batter is out, the ball is dead, no runners may advance.

USING ILLEGAL PLAYERS IN THE PLAYOFFS

The though the rule currently states that all challenges must be performed prior to the start of the game, if it has been determined after the game that a team used illegal players that team will automatically be required to forfeit the next playoff game. Should it happen after the championship game, no awards will be provided to that team and the championship will become vacant.

GAME CREDITS (SPRING SEASON ONLY)

Game credits can be earned in two different ways. A team can receive a game credit for playing in a TSE or TSE Sanctioned tournament opposing a Non-TSE team. You can receive only one game credit per tournament.

Game credits can also be earned when playing up in skill classification. That game will be reflected in the Overall standings; however, it will not be reflected within the team’s designated skill classification.

A team may only earn up to four credits for a scheduled season. Credits will be used when determining the minimum number of games needed to meet the playoff requirements. They will be added to the games played within the skill classification for each age group in computing how many games a team has played. “Game Credits” are reflected in the Standings page under the team’s Skill Classification heading.

TSE AND TSE SANCTIONED TOURNAMENTS (FALL SEASON ONLY)

Games played versus other TSE teams in a TSE, TSE Sanctioned and Sports at the Beach (SATB) tournaments will count as scheduled games and the results posted in the standings. All other  games played in TSE and TSE Sanctioned tournaments vs Non TSE teams will not count.

UMPIRE FEES

To ensure umpire fees are uniform throughout the league regardless of where teams are playing, standard rates are as follows:

7U – one man game $50
8U through 12U – one man game $60
8U through 12U – two man game $90
13U and Above – two man game $110
13U and Above – one man game $80

If the association the home team is using is charging fees in excess of the standard rates, the visiting team cannot pay more than the half fees listed above. The home team would be responsible for the difference in fees if above the standard rate.

GENERAL FAIR PLAY/SPORTMANSHIP

Intentional disregard for the stated TSE rules (or the spirit in which those rules

exist), as well as obvious unsportsmanlike behavior will not be tolerated. Depending on the infraction, there is a risk for a possible game forfeit, suspension or expulsion from the TSE League.

TSE CODE OF CONDUCT (Players, Coaches, Parents, Officials and Fans)

Youth baseball plays a vital role in encouraging physical, social and emotional growth of children. It is therefore essential for parents, coaches and officials to encourage their players to embrace the values of good sportsmanship, discipline and character development. All compliance infractions will be reviewed by the TSE Board for appropriate actions.

  • Have fun!
  • Be a good sport (win or lose), be honest, fair and always show good sportsmanship to all coaches, players, officials and fans.
  • All individuals are expected to cheer in a positive manner and never in a negative manner toward the opposing team.
  • Show courtesy and respect to teammates, opponents, coaches and officials.
  • Players and coaches will not engage in unsportsmanlike conduct.
  • Players and coaches will not engage in rude behavior.
  • Refrain from using profanity.
  • Do not criticize an opposing team, its players, fans or coaches by words or gestures.
  • Players and coaches will treat everyone, including other coaches, parents, players and officials with respect regardless of race, creed, color, nationality, or sex.

If there is a compliance infraction of the above Code of Conduct, the procedure for remediation will be as follows:

  1. The coach will be contacted by a member of the TSE Board.
  2. The Board member will schedule a time to meet with the coach to discuss the infraction. The meeting will either be in person or telephonically and take place as soon as possible after the infraction is incurred.
  3. Upon review by the TSE Board, the coach, player, parent or official will be notified of the Board’s position and the appropriate action will be followed. Depending on the infraction, possible penalties could include a warning, suspension or expulsion from the TSE League.