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Cooperstown Backyard Baseball Classic Rules (All Ages)

2019 Tournament Rules

Major League Baseball rules with these modifications

  • 9 & UNDER Players may not turn 10 before May 1, 2019
  • 10 & UNDER Players may not turn 11 before May 1, 2019
  • 11 & UNDER Players may not turn 12 before May 1, 2019
  • 12 & UNDER Players may not turn 13 before May 1, 2019
  • 13 & UNDER Players may not turn 14 before May 1, 2019
  • 14 & UNDER Players may not turn 15 before May 1, 2019
  • 15 & UNDER Players may not turn 16 before May 1, 2019
  • 16 & UNDER Players may not turn 17 before May 1, 2019
  • SIX inning games (9U-13U)
  • SEVEN inning games (14U-19U)
  • 12 run mercy rule after 3 innings, 10 run mercy rule after 4 innings, 8 run mercy rule after 5 innings for 9U-13U
  • 12 run mercy rule after 4 innings, 10 run mercy rule after 5 innings, 8 run mercy rule after 6 innings for 14U+
  • 13U + uses 60.5 foot pitching distance & 90 foot bases
  • 12U uses 50 foot pitching distance & 70 foot bases
  • 11U uses 50 foot pitching distance & 70 foot bases
  • 10U uses 47 foot pitching distance & 60 foot bases
  • 9U uses 47 foot pitching distance & 60 foot bases
  • Lead offs for ages 11 & up
  • No use of Designated Hitter
  • No one player in a game can assume more than one offensive position
  • Extra Hitter – (coach’s discretion) – If using an extra hitter(s), you can roster bat. The extra hitter(s) can bat anywhere in the lineup and can enter the game defensively to play a position during the game. Only one (1) player may occupy each EH position per game.
  • Re-entry rule: Starters may re-enter in the same offensive spot once. Substitutes cannot re-enter the game once they have been removed. Extra Hitter(s) can enter the game defensively.
    • Exception to the re-entry rule when a player is injured and all legal substitutions have been used. The following is an allowable option:
    • Substitutions that have already been removed from the game can re-enter.
    • Roster Bat Injury Rule: If a player has been injured in the game and the injury is deemed to be significant enough for the player not to continue, then he may be removed from the lineup and the lineup be condensed to remove that player. (Example: The 3 hitter is injured and is not able to continue the lineup will take the appearance of Batter 1, Batter 2, Batter 4, Batter 5, etc.)
  • Any pitcher can re-enter as pitcher as long as he/she stays in the game. Once removed from the game, the pitcher can re-enter the game defensively, but not as a pitcher
  • No pitching restrictions (coach’s discretion).
  • Balks will be called following Major League rules (11U and up). There will be one warning per pitcher per game (11U and 12U). The warning will be an immediate dead ball. All balk calls after the warning will be immediate dead balls.
  • Courtesy runner – A courtesy runner can be used for the CATCHER and PITCHER of RECORD ONLY at any time. This is not a substitution and is optional. Courtesy runners may not be in the current lineup. If you are roster batting then the last out will become the courtesy runner.
  • Must slide /avoid contact rule. A player must slide or attempt to avoid contact on all close plays (umpire discretion).
  • Head first sliding is permitted only into first, second, or third base. Head first sliding IS NOT allowed into home plate.
  • All bats must be wood bats (NO COMPOSITE or BAMBOO BATS)
  • Teams provide their own uniforms for games.
  • Coaches have the right, at any time, to call a Director to a field for a rules interpretation (Director Call). This does not include JUDGMENT CALLS made by the umpires. This action is to be taken in lieu of protests. In order to properly handle each Director Call, play must be stopped and the Director must be called BEFORE the next pitch. If the disputed call involves the last play of the game, the protesting team must appeal before the umpires leave the confines of the field.

Tie-breaker Rules

  • 1) Overall Record (Wins/Losses)
  • 2) Head to Head (only if two teams)
  • 3) Least Runs Allowed
  • 4) Most Runs Scored
  • 5) Coin Toss


  • Extra innings: All playoff games, excluding the championship game, will start with a tie-breaker scenario. During the visitors at bat they will place their last out on second base and the inning will start with 0 outs. When the home team comes to bat, they will also follow the same format until a winner has been determined.
  • Championship Game: During the championship game, the first two innings of the extra innings process will be played as traditional baseball rules. After those two innings have passed and a winner has not been determined, the game will be played under the tie-breaker scenario.

Ground Rules

  • Teams may begin pregame warm-ups 15 minutes prior to game time.
  • Team equipment or chairs are not permitted outside the dugouts.
  • All areas within the walls of the fields, aside from the dugouts and spectators areas, are in play. A ball striking any part of the backstop netting and all netting extensions is an immediate dead ball (dead ball rules apply).
  • ALL Pitchers MUST warm up outside of each field.
  • In the event an umpire signals a rain delay, each team must remain in its designated dugout until otherwise notified by a Director.

Dress Code

  • NO METAL SPIKES (12U and under)
  • Players must have jerseys tucked in at all times.
  • Players wear their own uniforms for each game

Coaches and Players Conduct

  • Sportsmanship code: Promote good sportsmanship both on and off the field and encourage lifelong friendships.
  • Any player ejected from a game will be suspended from two consecutive games.
  • Any coach ejected from a game will be removed from the premises for the remainder of the game.
  • Coaches, please remind your players to respect the upkeep of the baseball fields and  refrain from digging cleats into the infield and outfield grass areas.


  • Coaches will receive their game schedule during registration.
  • Game time: There will be a 1 hour and 40 minute time limit.  Teams must be at the field ready to play fifteen minutes before game time.
  • No refund after 1 game played.


  • All teams must supply helmets, practice baseballs, bats, catching gear, uniforms and safety equipment.
  • Game balls are provided. All foul balls must be returned to the umpire.