last updated 1/30/2024

Tri-County Premier Baseball serves the Chester, Delaware and Montgomery counties in Pennsylvania, as well as surrounding areas.

Welcome to Tri-County Premier Baseball. The following rule deck is intended to provide consistency throughout the league and within each age grouping as required. As you read through the rules, please remember that the overall mission of our league is to provide a fun, safe and competitive baseball experience for the youths in Southeastern PA, extending into Northern Delaware. While intended to provide structure, our league has a mix of competitive travel teams as well as developmental travel teams. Giving the kids the right experience is always paramount. To provide that experience we will do our best to work with the age commissioners and coaches to establish inner age group divisions as needed based on the number of participants. We’ll assess teams as competitive (Gold Pool) and Developmental (Silver Pool) to create the best parity for the season ending tournament. During the regular season we may not yet know who’s gold and who’s silver; and a developmental team may schedule and play a competitive team. That is the nature of the regular season but is necessary to ensure the right pool sets to ensure parity for the season ending tournament.

We are also a learning league and routinely revisit these rules based on coaches feedback and gaps we identify. For Spring 2023, we are modifying the roster rules. In prior years, you must have specifically designated which team your reserves would play for. For instance, if an organization had multiple teams in an age group, a reserve was specifically identified to a team. What we learned is that many of those two-team programs have kids that are in the margins. By in the margins, I mean – somewhat developmental, but would benefit from playing some games with the more developmental team. Similarly, as early rosters were set, a player may need more developmental time versus getting limited field time on the “A” team. As such, the following roster rule is implemented beginning in Spring 2023:

1.b.ii.3 – Player must not be rostered on the Main (15 player roster) for any other team within the same age grouping. However, reserve roster players may be shared among teams from the same program. Prior to the tournament, programs must declare which team their reserve roster players will play for (i.e. no sharing reserves in the tournament). CALL UPS are still allowed (e.g. Team X’s 10U team needs 1 player; ok to use Team X’s 9U player).

If it turns out this flexibility is abused (i.e. Keeping an Ace on reserve to help a B team gain higher seeding for Silver Pool), the concern should be brought to the attention of the age commissioner and the commissioner. The commissioners and the suspect coach will resolve the issue up to and including declaring a permanent roster for all subs for that program.

The other rule change relates to application of the continuous batting order in the tournament when teams with different roster sizes play each other. Please see rule 6.3.d.


The following rules apply to both league play and tournaments.

    1. Age Verification
      1. Players must NOT be older than the age group they are playing in, on or before 4/30 of the preceding year.
      2. Fall Exception (New 2024) – Based on the challenges of teams competing with other Fall sports, we will allow up to two (2) exceptions on the Fall roster.
        1. In the Fall up to two (2) rostered or reserve players may be over the age provided they were still of calendar age during the calendar year.
          1. I have a developmental kid who played 10U in the spring but with the Fall age up would be 11U in the Fall. He has an August birthday. IF my rising 10U team is short on getting a roster together and in jeopardy of not having a Fall team, they can roster (or reserve roster) up to two (2) kids that are over the age but fall within the exception.
        2. Example: I have a 10U Spring team aging up to 11U in the Fall. Several of my players are doing Football, Flag, Lacrosse (whatever) and I’m struggling to get a full roster. I audition some kids and find a couple adds. The problem is they miss the age cut off by a couple of months. I can add up to two (2) of these players, but ONLY for the Fall. They will not be eligible to play on your Spring team and will need to move up to their appropriate age grouping.
        3. When you certify your roster, you must flag any player using the exception.
        4. Any (up to 2) exceptions rostered during the season will be allowed to play in the tournament. No exceptions will be allowed after roster cut-off (i.e. we don’t want anyone dropping a ringer on a team just before the tournament).
      3. Failure to comply will result in forfeiture of the season, forfeiture of any funds paid to the league, and dismissal from the league. (Birth certificates should be kept on file for review)
    2. Roster Verification
      1. Only players listed on each team’s OFFICIAL roster, including reserve players, may participate in SEASON play. (each team’s active roster is listed under their division and team name on the league website)
      2. Players must:
        1. Meet age requirements set forth by TRI-COUNTY PREMIER BASEBALL
        2. Be listed on the team’s OFFICIAL roster
        3. Not be rostered on the Main (15 player) roster for any other team within the same age grouping. However, reserve roster players may be shared among teams from the same program. Prior to the tournament, programs must declare which team their reserve roster players will play for (i.e no sharing reserves in the tournament). CALL UPS are still allowed (e.g. Team X’s 10U team needs 1 player; ok to use Team X’s 9U player).
      3. Rosters are limited to 15 full-time players and 5 reserve players. (20 total)
      4. LEGACY Rosters: Teams with multiple entries in the league at other age groups may use their younger team’s players in addition to their 15 full-time players and 5 reserves. (Team X's 11u team has 12 full-time and 3 reserves. They may also use Team X's 10u players as "reserves" under the LEGACY rule.
    1. To qualify for the end of season tournaments, teams MUST complete a minimum of FIVE (5) league games, with different opponents, within their age group.
    2. Teams not reaching 5 games will be ineligible.
      1. RAIN EXCEPTIONS – mother nature is not perfect, and we have more programs without lights than with. With that said, the league president retains the authority to declare exceptions to this minimum. Note that because of the late sunsets in the Spring, the bias will be towards getting 5 minimum games. Due to the shorter Fall days, exceptions are more probable.
    3. If the number of teams warrants multiple divisions within an age group (i.e North/South or East/West), seeding will be based on divisional play and attempts should be made to play all teams within the division.
      1. During season play (tournaments excluded); there will be no time limit enforced unless agreed upon at the coaches meeting prior to the first pitch.
      2. Complete Game
        1. 6 innings or the agreed upon time limit has been reached and a winner is evident. Play until there is a declared win
        2. 2 ½ innings of play if the Home Team is leading during inclement weather or after 3 innings if the Visiting team is leading. (All age groups)
      3. Mercy Rules and Run Limits
        1. IN SEASON: 15 after 3 innings, 10 after 4 innings for all age divisions
        2. Season Play Run Limit: For 8U-10U, there is a (5) run limit per inning and unlimited for the last "declared" inning. For 11U+ there is an (8) run limit (note for 11U+ there is no limit during the tournament – only during the regular season).
        3. Every inning after the last declared inning, in the event of a tie, will be unlimited runs.
      1. Teams must have at least eight players to start a game and may "borrow" a player from the opposing team for defensive purposes only for the ninth position. Fewer than 8 players will result in a forfeit.
      2. Teams MUST bat all players in their lineup during regular season games for 8u-12u.
        1. 13u and above my play with substitutions.
        2. 13u and above may utilize a designated hitter (DH) in place of any position player included but not exclusive to the pitcher.
      3. Teams batting their entire lineup, will have FREE defensive substitutions for all games. [See pitcher / catcher exceptions]
      4. A player who is injured or ejected during the game will be skipped in the lineup with no penalty to their team, but cannot return in that game.
      5. In the event of a double header, an injured player may return if safe to do so from suspected injury. If ejected, the player MAY NOT play the second game.
      6. Pinch runners may be used for your catcher only, at any time, with the intent to speed up the game. The pinch runner must be the player who made the last batted out.
      7. Any player arriving after the official first pitch MUST be placed last in the batting lineup. Once a team has batted around, no player may be inserted into the lineup or take the field.
      8. If an injury occurs during an at-bat and the player can’t continue the at-bat, the next batter in the lineup will assume that count and finish the at bat.
      9. If an injury occurs while on the base paths the player that made the last recorded out will take the place of the injured player on the bases
      1. No pitcher may exceed the number of pitches in any one game as designated below for their age group:
        1. 8U (50)
        2. 9U & 10U (75)
        3. 11U & 12U (85)
        4. 13U (95)
      2. A pitcher may finish the current batter if the first pitch was thrown before the threshold or lower; but may not start another batter at or above the threshold number listed in 3.c.1 above.
      3. A pitcher that throws 40 pitches or more may not play the position of catcher in the same game.
      4. To ensure player safety, TRI-COUNTY PREMIER BASEBALL standard days of rest should be observed for all pitchers.
        1. 1-40 pitches / 0 days rest
        2. 41-50 pitches / 1 day rest
        3. 51 – 60 pitches / 2 days rest
        4. 61+ pitches / 3 days rest
      5. If a pitcher is removed after throwing a pitch and goes to another defensive position, they may not re-enter as pitcher in that game.
      6. Once a pitcher throws a warm-up pitch, they will be officially the "pitcher of record."
      7. If the pitcher is hurt or becomes ill during their warm-up pitches or during play, another player may come in to pitch, but the injured/ill pitcher will not be permitted to re-enter the game as pitcher.
      8. Clothing / Jewelry / Accessories
        1. Pitchers MAY NOT wear anything distracting to batters such as white undershirts, necklaces, etc. Coaches and umpires will discuss if there is any question.
      9. Warm-up Pitches
        1. Pitchers may throw 8 warm-up pitches in their first inning of work and 5 pitches every inning thereafter.
        2. Pitches to coaches or their catcher will count as warm-up pitches.
      10. Intentional walks are prohibited in 8U – 12U. 13U+ may use intentional walks by adding 4 pitches to the pitchers count after the coach notifies the umpire of an intentional walk.
      11. Balks: During regular season play (11U-13U); ONE (1) warning will be given, per pitcher, per game. The SECOND occurrence, and each consecutive time a balk is called, by the same pitcher, the rule will be enforced. Balks do not occur in 8U-10U; however, pitchers should be coached/warned when they do balk so as to learn and develop
      1. No catcher may enter the game as pitcher if they have caught in any part of 4 innings of the current game.
      2. Catchers MUST wear a protective cup to play that position, no exceptions.
      1. Regular season and Tournament play – Unlimited steals.
        1. (8U-10U) players may not lead off the base. Players can only steal once the ball passes home plate.
          1. No steals may be made once the ball is under the control of the pitcher. "Control" will be described as when the pitcher is holding the ball within the "diamond" or inside the base paths.
        2. Infielders / Pitchers throwing the ball around will not be considered in "control" of the ball and therefore the play is still active.
        3. Runners may not advance after a pitcher covers home and begins to retreat back to the mound in regular or post season play. (A.K.A. a delayed steal from THIRD to HOME is PROHIBITED)
        4. (11U+) players may lead off and steal at their discretion, and the ball should be considered live at all times except when “timeout” has been granted by the umpire.
        5. All runners MUST slide during stolen base attempts if a potential play is inevitable.
        6. Headfirst slides are PROHIBITED (8u-12U), EXCEPT for returning to a previous base. They are allowed at 13U and above.
        7. The practice of continuous walks is PROHIBITED at 10U and under (all batters walked must stop at first base and may NOT continue until the pitcher engages the rubber to throw the next pitch.).
          1. Runners on other bases may advance at their own discretion when a batter is walked
      1. Players MUST attempt to avoid contact with other players in tag-out situations. If, in an umpire’s judgment, there is intentional contact, that umpire may call the runner out on that play. If the contact is judged as intentional and malicious, that umpire may also eject the player from the game.
      2. On force out situations, if the runner slides, they must slide directly into the base. A slide that is not directly into the base is grounds for an interference call (umpire’s judgment) and the runner could be declared out.
      3. If the runner makes a legal slide directly into the base and contact is made with the fielder, interference will not be called. (Umpire's discretion)
    7. SLASH BUNT - Prohibited. A player will be called out if this play is attempted. A slash bunt is defined as a player showing bunt at any time during the pitch and then swinging at that same pitch.
    8. INFIELD FLY / DROPPED THIRD STRIKE RULE - Infield fly and dropped third strike rules will not be utilized EXCEPT in 11U & older groups.
    9. ON DECK BATTER - ONE (1) on deck batter at a time.
      1. Mound Visits: Once the first pitch of an inning is thrown, the pitcher must be removed on the second mound visit in an inning.
      2. Mound visits may last no longer than 30 seconds.
      3. Coaches should verify pitch counts after each inning for tournaments.
      4. Home coach takes responsibility for ensuring an umpire has been scheduled and will be present. TRI-COUNTY PREMIER BASEBALL sanctioned umpires should be reserved up to 10-14 days in advance.
      5. Cost of umpire to be split between both teams. (50/50)
      6. Each head coach will supply two game balls for each game. (Total of 4)
      7. Each head coach will record the scores of their game on the league’s shared drive spreadsheet, as well as update their standings towards tournament play.
      8. Each head coach is responsible for his assistant coaches, players, and fans. Foul language, unsportsmanlike conduct, inappropriate cheers, etc. will not be tolerated.
        1. Delaying a game intentionally, to achieve a victory, will be considered unsportsmanlike conduct and will not be tolerated.
        2. Umpires, after a warning, reserve the right to eject a coach or player for intentionally delaying a game.
      1. TRI-COUNTY PREMIER BASEBALL allows USA, USSSA, BPF 1.15, BBCOR or Wooden bats except for 8U & 9U where ONLY USA bats are allowed
        1. NOTE – if during a regular season game, it is desired to implement USA only restrictions, it must be agreed to by both head coaches and both teams must abide. This exception is included in the rules as a plausible option to accommodate field conditions that may create an environment where ball exit speeds combined with harden surfaces can challenge fielders beyond normal capabilities. Example – Dirt (non-grass) infield after several days of hot son. Example – Program X’s B team is playing Program Y’s B team and both coaches agree that lesser bats align with their mission of developing the less skilled players. Note – it MUST be agreed to by BOTH coaches.
      2. 13U & younger: Barrel size must be between 2 ¼ - 2 ¾.
      3. 13U ONLY: Bat weight may not exceed -8.
      4. The current list of USSSA banned bats will be available on the TRI-COUNTY PREMIER BASEBALL website. Banned/withdrawn bats are prohibited from TRI-COUNTY PREMIER BASEBALL play.
      5. Penalty for use of illegal bat:
        1. If an illegal bat is discovered prior to a batter completing his "at bat" the bat is simply removed from play and the "at bat" continues.
        2. A player who uses an illegal bat or non-conforming barrel dimension and hits a fair ball will be ruled out. No advancement on the bases will be allowed, and any outs during the play shall stand. This is an appeal play. The "at bat" will be considered legal once a pitch is thrown to the next batter.
        3. Any bat discovered prior to the game that does not conform to the above rule shall be directed to be removed immediately and not be allowed for use during the game
    1. All teams will play on a WEEK OF basis with games being played any day of the week agreed upon by the coaches for that week. Majority of games are on Sundays.
    2. Teams participating in outside tournaments MUST notify their opponent as soon as possible and work to reschedule their game.
    3. Games not made up will result in a 0-0 tie.
    1. All league costs & fees are non-refundable. In the event of tournaments being cancelled the following reimbursement schedule will be implemented.
    2. There are no minimum games guaranteed in any league tournament; however, we strive to achieve at least 3 games.
      1. Refund policy if the tournament is canceled due to weather (i.e. no games are played at all) and unable to be rescheduled, or gets rescheduled and your team is unavailable for an alternate date is as follows:
        1. The entry fee will be refunded minus a pro-rated allocation for pre-purchase materials such as baseballs, medals, banners, field space, etc.
        2. The difference between the entry fee and the pro-rata refund will be provided as a credit for future league registration or tournament entry fees.
        3. In this scenario if you paid $400, you’ll ultimately receive $400 in return; however, some of the refund may be a credit for future entry versus cash.
      2. Only one game completed, no refunds are guaranteed; however, unused umpire fees and any unused field rental fees (if applicable) will be pro-rata refunded.
      3. Two or more games complete – no refunds.
  6. TOURNAMENT RULES (Season Playoffs) [Spring / Fall Playoffs] - All regular season rules apply to TRI-COUNTY PREMIER BASEBALL league playoff tournaments, except where specified below:
    1. Tournament Schedules
      1. Customary schedule will be to play TWO (2) games on Saturday for reseeding and single elimination on Sunday. Exceptions may be employed where sufficient teams existed for divisional play in the regular season. For example, based on the number of teams, a straight round robin might be best, or a full double elimination. Formats may also be affected based on host location size and number of fields.
      1. Saturday CANCELLED – Single Elimination Sunday based on regular season standings
      2. ALL Saturday games played with Sunday CANCELLED, winners declared by top two seeds from Saturday.
      3. Both days CANCELLED: attempts to reschedule the tournament will be made using the normal two-day schedule, however this is a volunteer organization and venues and/or umpires may not be available to support a make-up. Cancellation refunds per 5.B.1 will be provided for teams unable to play on the make-up date.
      1. Core roster from the regular season will comprise the core roster for the tournament
      2. Any reserves being added to the roster must be declared at the time of registration.
      3. Your roster must be posted prior to registration, or your registration will be rejected.
      4. Programs with multiple teams that shared reserves during the regular season must declare and assign each reserve specifically to a team or the reserve will not be allowed to play
      5. Continuous batting order will remain in use during the tournament with the following exceptions:
        1. When roster sizes are not identical, the team with the larger roster may choose to continuously bat only the same number of players that align with the smaller rostered team (not to go below 10). For instance, if Team A has 9 players and Team B has 13 players, Team B may elect to bat only 10 players and retain the other 3 players as reserves.
        2. If at any time a player not in the original batting order pinch hits, that player and the player he pinched hit for are locked into that position in the batting order. For instance, if Mike bats for Matt in the 8th position. Both Mike and Matt are locked into that position and either may take the at bat when the 8th spot in the order comes up to bat.
        3. Field substitutions can be made freely, however a pitcher may not reenter as a pitcher once relieved from the mound.
        4. Lastly – every effort should be made to get all the kids the experience of playing tournament level games, but the willingness to carry a large roster can create a disadvantage when playing a team with a small roster – hence this exception.
    4. TIES
      1. End of Season Tournament - Ties on elimination day will be granted ONE (1) extra regular inning of regular play.
      2. If the game is still tied, the last batted out will be placed on second base to begin the second extra inning and the inning will proceed as normal.
      3. If the game remains tied, the 3rd extra inning will start with the bottom 3 batters being placed on base (bases loaded) and the team will begin batting at the top of the order, with ZERO (0) outs. Each batter will begin his at-bat with a 1-1 count. This format will repeat until a winner is determined.
      1. 15 after 3 innings
      2. 10 after 4 innings
      3. 8 after 5 innings
    6. END OF SEASON TOURNAMENTS will be SIX (6) innings long for time's sake.
      1. In the event a team is unable to play their scheduled game(s), they will forfeit and record a score of 0-6, and no refunds will be given. The opposing team will record a win with a score of 6-0.
      2. Teams reporting a forfeit, will not be allowed to reschedule a forfeited game.
      3. Schedules will NOT be adjusted as a result of any forfeit.
      1. Coaches that are ejected during a tournament MUST leave the property immediately and are not permitted to return for the remainder of the tournament.
        1. Coaches who fail to comply with the above risk the forfeiture of their team for the remainder of the tournament and removal from the league.
  7. TRI-COUNTY PREMIER BASEBALL Code of Conduct. As coaches in this league, we will provide competitive travel baseball with the ultimate focus on safety, fun, and playing the way the game was meant to be played. Demeaning, insulting, or other unsportsmanlike conduct towards players, coaches, umpires, or fans will not be tolerated. The goal is to prepare each player for the next level and not just winning. Players will learn to win or lose with humility and will respect their opponents. Throwing of equipment, helmets, gloves, etc. will not be tolerated and players will be warned. At NO time will a player question an umpire’s call or argue with an official. Coaches may disagree with a call and talk respectfully to an umpire or other official and it will be up to the umpire(s) to overturn or maintain the original call.

    We are a non-profit volunteer organization. We rely on our members to provide support in the form of age group commissioners and most importantly hosting our tournaments. We understand not every organization owns their field space so to promote hosting, TCP provides compensation on a per-game basis to the tournament host.

    Regular season scheduling is flexible and coach-driven using the league Google Doc to coordinate with other division coaches to set game times and locations that work for both teams.
  8. CONTACTS: 2024 Season (January 2024 - November 2024)
    • Principle: Lee Spicer
    • Q&A on Umpires – Tad Howell
    • League age commissioners: TBD

Bat List

The following baseball bats were properly marked by an authorized USSSA Bat Manufacturer to indicate that they would be allowed in USSSA play, but were subsequently withdrawn by the manufacturer or found by USSSA to be disallowed.

Any bats not listed here but listed on the USSSA list of disallowed bats shall also be deemed illegal in the Tri-County Premier Baseball League

Manufacturer Model Comments
MarucciCat5 MCB2 33/30 BBCOR
NikeBT0636 CX2light grey
DeMarini2017 CF Zen Balanced (-8) 29″/21 ozWTDXCBR 2129-17
DeMarini2017 CF Zen Balanced (-8) 30″/22 ozWTDXCBR 2230-17
DeMarini2017 CF Zen Balanced (-8) 31″/23 ozWTDXCBR 2331-17
DeMarini2017 CF Zen Balanced (-8) 32″/24 ozWTDXCBR 2432-17
DeMarini2017 CF Zen SL 2 3/4″ (-10) 28″/18 ozWTDXCBZ 1828-17
DeMarini2017 CF Zen SL 2 3/4″ (-10) 29″/19 ozWTDXCBZ 1929-17
DeMarini2017 CF Zen SL 2 3/4″ (-10) 30″/20 ozWTDXCBZ 2030-17
DeMarini2017 CF Zen SL 2 3/4″ (-10) 31″/21 ozWTDXCBZ 2131-17
DeMarini2017 CF Zen SL 2 3/4″ (-10) 32″/22 ozWTDXCBZ 2232-17
DeMarini2017 CF Zen Zero Dark 2 3/4″ (-10) 29″/19 ozWTDXCBZ 1929-17F1
DeMarini2017 CF Zen Zero Dark 2 3/4″ (-10) 30″/20 ozWTDXCBZ 2030-17F1
DeMariniCustom 2017 CF Zen 2 3/4″ (-10)WTDCCBZ17V
DeMariniCustom 2017 CF Zen Balanced (-8)WTDCCBR17V
Dirty SouthKamo BB KA 8 (30/22, 31/21, 32/22, 31/23, 32/24 only)
EastonGhost X (30/20 only) – (USA BASEBALL MARKED)YBB18GX10 30/20
LL18GHX 30/20 Japanese