40 Masters Overview

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Mandated Safety Equipment

·         Pitcher's are required to wear a protective mask in all SSUSA games,  There is no waiver, or option given to pitch without one.

Pitch Arch

·         6 feet to 12 feet above the ground.

·         Illegal pitches are signaled and verbalized in flight. 

Pitcher's Box

·         A pitch can be released from any place in the pitcher's box, which is 2 feet wide by 10 feet deep.

·         Pitcher must have some portion of one foot inside of the pitcher's box when beginning the windup / delivery.  Fakes, or deceptive actions are not permitted.

·         Any portion of the foot touching the chalk / lines is considered "in" the box. 

Batter's Box

·         Batter's box is 3 feet wide by 7 feet deep.

·         Batter must have some portion of both feet inside of the batter's box when the windup / delivery begins.

·         Any portion of the foot touching the chalk / lines is considered "in" the box.

·         On the swing, the batter is considered "out of the box" when he has one foot completely on the ground, completely outside of the batter's box when contact is made. 

Pitch Count

·         Starting count is 1 ball and 1 strike. 

·         Batter is walked after 3 balls and is out after 2 strikes.

·         The batter does get a courtesy foul.

·         On foul tips with less than 2 strikes, the ball must go higher than the batter's head for an out to be recorded.

Double First Base

·         Safety base for use by the batter-runner only on the initial play.

·         Batter-runner must use the safety base if there is a play being made at the bag unless he is trying to avoid a collision with the defender (a runner touching both bases simultaneously is not out).  In that scenario, the batter-runner can use either bag.  The defensive player must touch some portion of the white bag to record an out on the initial play.

·         Calls involving the double base / safety base are live calls by the umpire (no appeals).

·         After the initial play, the double base / safety base become one base.  

Commitment Line

·         30 feet up the third base line from the front edge of home plate.

·         Once a runner touches or crosses the commitment line, he cannot retreat for any reason.

·         A retreating runner is declared out at the moment he re-crosses the commitment line.

·         Runners tug after touching or crossing the commitment line are declared "safe" and are not required to continue to the scoring line / scoring plate. They can only be declared out if the defensive team touches the mat prior to the runner crossing the scoring line.

·         These are live ball calls.   Umpires should make the appropriate call, then focus on any remaining runners. 

Scoring Line

·         All plays at home are force outs.

·         Runners must have a foot on the ground touching the scoring line / scoring plate before the defensive team has possession of the ball and is touching the strike mat.  Note- a runner's foot on the ground beyond the scoring line / scoring plate is deemed to have touched the plate.

·         Runners are automatically out at home if they cross through any part of the batter's box.

·         This is a live ball call.  Umpires should make the call, then focus on any remaining runners. 

Base Running

·         A runner must make every effort to avoid collisions.

·        If in the umpire's judgment the runner misses a base to avoid a collision, they may be declared safe.   Runners sliding into first base or the scoring line / scoring plate will be called out unless the umpire feels that they did so in order to avoid a collision.

·         If in the umpire's judgment the runner fails to avoid a collision, they may be declared out.

·         A base runner may tag and advance on any fly ball that is caught in the field of play regardless of pitch count.   The ball remains live. 

Courtesy Runners

·         Any player listed on the lineup card may be used as a courtesy runner.

·         A courtesy runner must notify the umpire prior to taking a position on the base, and is deemed to be in the game when he  touches the base.

·         Once in the game, the courtesy runner cannot be replaced for another runner (exception- when that courtesy runner becomes injured).

·         A courtesy runner may be used for a base runner at any time, but the same player can only act as a courtesy runner one time per inning.  If so, an out is declared.

·         Should a courtesy runner be on base when his turn at bat comes due, the courtesy runner is declared out, and then must take his turn at bat. 


Teams must meet the minimum for their division of play.  

·         10 defensive players for Men's and Women's 40

·         1 must be a pitcher, and 1 must be a catcher.   (Pitcher's are required to wear a mask)

·         A team is permitted to play short-handed with 1 fewer than the minimum number. 

Short-Handed Rule

·         If short-handed due to injury or a missing player;  an out is recorded the first time the missing spot comes due.  After that, simply skip the batter without penalty.

·         If short-handed due to player ejection;  an out is recorded every time the missing spot comes due.

Game Cards

·         Proper game cards are critical

·         Umpires will maintain a game card that includes all information necessary for completing that game.   The umpires will accurately track lineups, game time, runs scored, runs, home runs and substitutions.

·         Managers verify the final score and sign the game card after each game.  This is critical for tournament seeding and collection of team ratings data.

Flip Flop Rule

·         Mandatory in all games (seeding and bracket)

·         Applies when the home team is trailing by 10 or more heading into the open inning.

·         The home team bats again in the open inning.  If still trailing after their final at bat, the game is over.  If tied or ahead, the visiting team gets their turn at bat. 

Home Runs / Runs per Inning

·         All home runs are walk-offs.   No need to touch a base.

·         All home runs over the limit are dead ball outs.

·         40 Masters Major Plus-  10 HR per game.  7 runs per inning.

·         40 Masters Major-  8 HR per game.  5 runs per inning.

·         40 Masters AAA-  6 HR per game.   5 runs per inning.

Open Inning

·        In timed games, the umpire must announce that time has expired at the moment it occurs.

·         Once time expires, finish the inning in progress.  The next inning is the open inning.

·         Failure of an umpire to announce that time has expired will result in an additional inning being played.

International Tie-Breaker

·       If tied, each team begins the extra inning with the last completed batter from the previous inning at 2nd base.

·       Teams cannot use a courtesy runner or substitute until that player has advanced at least one base.

·       Should the proper runner be unable to continue due to injury an out is recorded and the next previous batter becomes the proper runner.

·       All international tie-breaker innings are open innings. 

Equalizer Rules

·         Applies when teams of different skill levels play one another.

·         The lower rated team is automatically the VISITOR.

·         The lower rated team receives a 5 run equalizer (1 run per inning added to their score in innings 2 thru 6).

..       Home run rules are always that of the lower rated team.