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2021 ISSA Tournament Rules and Information

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2021 ISSA Tournament Rules and Information 


All playing rules and regulations for the tournament will be governed by the current edition of the ASA Official Guide and Rule Book with the following clarifications and exceptions: 

A.  Major Plus Division - The Rosters for this division may have players from either east or west of the Mississippi River (exceptions will be granted for mid America teams.) .The homerun limit will be ten (10) then the one-up rule. Over the fence homeruns beyond the limit are outs. Teams can score a maximum of seven (7) runs per inning until the last inning which is open. Teams will hit their own ISSA ball purchased at the event. 

B. The homerun limit in the Major Division will be six (6). Over the fence homeruns beyond the limit are outs. Teams can score a maximum of five(5) runs per inning until the last inning which is open. (35+ and 40+ Masters teams will play by the Major senior rules unless sufficient teams are entered to support a AAA Division) 

C. The homerun limit in the AAA Divisions will be three (3). Over the fence homeruns beyond the limit are outs. Teams can score a maximum of five (5) runs per inning until the last inning which is open. 

D. The homerun limit in the AA Divisions will be one (1). Over the fence homeruns beyond the limit are outs. Teams can score a maximum of five (5) runs per inning until the last inning which is open. 

E. A tie ball game will begin the extra inning(s) using the International Tie Breaker(ITB) Rule (See Rule 5.10 of the ASA Code) until a winner is determined. When using the ITB a courtesy running can not be used for the runner placed on 2nd base until the runner has advanced to 3rd base. 

F. The number of divisions in each age classification will depend on the number and rating of the entered teams. When divisions are combined in Preliminary Pool Play the lower homerun limit will be in effect unless otherwise posted. 

G. The over-the-fence homeruns (including four-base errors) are walk off. The batter and all base runners are not required to advance to the next base and may exit the field of play. 

H. The 4-3 pitch count with NO courtesy foul will be used in championship play. 

I. A time limit will be in effect for all games until the championship game. After one hour and fifteen minutes the teams will complete the inning they are in and play one more inning (last inning unless a tie game requires continuation.) The game time limit will not apply to the championship game or "if" game if necessary in all divisions of play.  

J. All bat models approved for the Senior Division by ASA, ISF, USSSA, NSA, ISA, ISSA, SPA and SS-USA will be allowed in this tournament including the Masters Divisions (35+ & 40+). 

K. The ball must be delivered with a perceptible arc and reach a height of at least six (6) feet from the ground and not exceed a maximum height of 12 feet from the ground. 

L. The ten foot (10') pitching box will be used for all divisions of play including the Masters Division. 

M. A baserunner may slide at any base; i.e. 1st Base, 2nd Base, 3rd Base and/or the Scoring Plate.  The baserunner is out if he/she touches the Home Plate or interferes with the catcher in the Home Plate area. A tagged runner after crossing the commitment line is not automatically safe and awarded the base. The ball will remain live until the scoring plate is toched by the runner or home plate touched by a defensive player in possession of the softball. 


In championship tournaments play on the first day will begin with preliminary pool play to determine seeding. The format for preliminary pool play may vary depending on the number and rating of the teams.  ALL scheduled pool play games count towards seeding in Championship play unless stated otherwise. Ties in the standings in preliminary pool play will be broken by fewest runs allowed unless only 2 teams tied and they played each other it would be head to head. If a tie still exists then run differential.  In the unlikely event a tie continues to exist it will be broken by a coin flip. Championship play will be double elimination unless otherwise stated. Teams will be scheduled a minimum of four (4) games. (The format for preliminary pool play may vary depending on the number and rating of the teams).


All teams are encouraged to compete in identical uniforms, short and long pants may be mixed. Coaches should either be in team uniforms or dressed identically in the team colors. Any decision on uniforms is handled by the tournament officials and is not subject to team protest. 


Tournament officials will provide line-up cards if needed. An official line-up must be submitted to the opposing team and scorekeeper (if available) prior to the last inning of the preceding game and given to the umpire prior to game. 


Times listed on the tournament bracket are for guidance. Teams must be prepared to play 30 minutes prior to scheduled time. Games will start within 15 minutes after the preceding game is completed. Teams not ready 15 minutes after preceding game finishing or subject to a forfeit.  A time limit will be in effect for Preliminary Pool Play Games and Double Elimination games unless set forth otherwise in the Tournament Supplemental Rules. 


NO infield practice will be permitted. Warm-up is allowed in designated areas only. Teams may warm-up in the outfield grass if time permits. Teams wishing to practice may reserve (if available) a practice field by contacting the tournament officials. 


Players, coaches, sponsors and a bat person are the only individuals allowed in the bench area. 


The tournament committee will decide all protests. As manager, please be familiar will rules of the game including proper protest procedure.  Any protest of an umpire's rule interpretation must be made before the next pitch in the game.  Player eligibility protests must be made prior to the start of the game.  


The twenty (20) run rule is in effect after 5 innings. Complete innings must be played unless the home team scores the total to go ahead by the limit while at bat. The run rule is in effect for all games including the championship games.A Flip-Flop Rule will also be in effect. If the Visitors are ahead by 10 or more runs in the open inning the Home team will bat in the top of the inning and if the Home team ties or goes ahead the Visitors will bat in the bottom


In the event of rain or any cause which interrupts a game, the game must be resumed at the exact point where it was stopped. It is the manager's responsibility to contact the Tournament Representative at the field for rescheduled game information. 

In the event the tournament can't be completed within the scheduled time frame and more than forty-percent (40%) of the scheduled double elimination games have been completed, the official final order of finish will be determined by the position of the teams in the bracket. The following procedures will be used to break ties and among teams in the same spot in the bracket: 

  1. Won-loss records except among undefeated teams.
  2. If only two teams are tied for a position and have played each other, the winner of that game.
  3. The teams will be ranked according to the fewest runs allowed per game played.
  4. If a tie still exists, by a coin toss.


11. HOME TEAM : 

The Home Team is determined by a coin toss prior to the start of each game. 


Unless agreed otherwise, the team listed first or at the top of the bracket will use the first base dugout. The team listed second or on the bottom of the bracket will use the third base dugout. In the event a team plays back-to-back they will not be required to move to another dugout. 


In the 65 men’s divisions and up and 50 to 70 women’s divisions eleven defensive players shall constitute a team(Teams may elect to start and play with 10 defensive players with no penalty). ASA rules for re-entry and extra players will apply. Roster eligibility for 70, 75 and 80 & All Major Plus men's teams is east and west of the Mississippi River.   In the Major Plus Division teams may have two players from outside their region. In the 70 Division the roster may include up to three 69 year old players. In the 75 Division the roster may include up to five 73 and 74 year old players with a maximum of two 73s.. And in the 80 Division the roster may include up to seven 78 and/or 79 year old players.  


Team Managers and coaches are asked to have complete control of their players both on and off the playing field. Any report of damage by hotel and/or park management will be dealt with by the tournament committee.  Managers are reminded that an ejected player must have a substitute or the game is a forfeit.


Participation in the ISSA Senior Tournament Program is open to all age eligible players in good standing. A player may only play with one team per Age Division at any tournament. A team may have up to three (3) players from one (1) skill level higher at any event. Double rostering is allowed but a player cannot be on two rosters in the same age classification at a tournament. A player on two rosters in different age classifications must be at the same skill level unless approved otherwise by the ISSA Office Staff in writing and a player can not play at a lower skill level than what skill level they play at the younger age division.   (For instance, a player on a 55 Major team would not be allowed to also play as a pick‑up on a 60 AAA team.) Managers should refer to the ISSA Rules and Guidelines and check with the Tournament Officials for clarifications and interpretations prior to arriving at a tournament. The ISSA has established residency requirements for team rosters in all divisions. Unless approved otherwise in writing, all rostered players must be in compliance with the ISSA Roster Guidelines. A team's home state is determined by the one where in the most players on the roster have legal residency.

Teams must play with the same roster that was used to determine their classification by the ISSA Rating Committee. EXCEPTION: A team may use up to three pick‑up players by advising the ISSA office prior to the tournament. The pick‑up players must come from a team(s) in the same rated division and/or one (1) skill level higher (A Team may not include more than three(3) one(1) skill level higher including pick-up players).  The use of any other pickup players must be approved in writing by the tournament staff prior to the tournament and may result in a higher team classification (see ISSA Roster Guidelines). A complete and accurate player softball history must accompany any request to use pickup players. All players must be on the roster prior to the start of the tournament, under no circumstances will teams be allowed to pick up players at the tournament. Any Team caught using an INELIGIBLE PLAYER will result in forfieting the game and the INELIGIBLE PLAYER will be ejected from the tournament.

Non‑rated teams must submit their roster in advance for approval and team classification. Teams with no playing history will not be placed in the AA Division under most circumstances.

Snowbird Rule: Only Players 65 and older can request Snowbird Status. All other Ages/Divisions must follow the residency guidelines. Players 65 or older may request to play in a geographic region outside their permanent region of residency if they reside for (3) three or more consecutive months during the current calendar year. A snowbird player can only play in either their permanent region or their approved snowbird region in one event and not both.



There will be no admission charge at most parks.  (Where privately owned parks are used there may be a gate charge.). 


All players will be required to check with the tournament committee and produce proof of identity with a picture ID. Players are required to carry their ID at all times since random ID checks may be made prior to any game. It is the team manager’s responsibility to verify the eligibility of all players on the team. Player eligibility is never waived or approved by virtue of the ID check-in at the tournament site. 

18. AWARDS: 

The following awards will be given: 

1. All Divisions: Sponsor Awards and Individual Awards - See Supplemental Rules for specific tournament awards. 

19. BATS: 

All bats used in ISSA play for all divisions must be official softball bats certified by the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) and/or certified BPF 1.21 or less (unless prior approval given by the tournament officials). Bats must have their original paint markings for complete identification. Tournament officials have the right to keep any bat suspected of being altered or otherwise illegal for a period of thirty (30) days to have it inspected and/or tested. Any bat found to be altered or illegal could result in the player and manager being disqualified from future participation in senior softball. Any team protesting a bat alleging it to be altered must post the Bat Protest Fee of $350.00. 


The current bats first pose a clear competitive imbalance issue and to a much lesser extent a risk of injury issue. The use of too soft bats by some players and not others is an unfair advantage which ISSA believes must be removed from the game. In addition, it has been argued that such bats may increase the risk of injury from a batted ball. Even with the current composite bats in play during recent years, it remains the statistical and insurance experience that the game of softball remains among the safest athletic activities in America. However, this does not mean there is no risk of injury from a batted ball. There is, and always has been, risk inherent in the game of senior softball from being struck with a batted (or even thrown) ball, A risk of injury from a batted (or thrown) ball does exist. Anyone who has a concern about an injury occurring from being struck with a ball during an ISSA Senior Softball organized tournament should address that concern by the use of protective gear which is available and has always been allowed in ISSA play. 

21. BALLS: 

All balls used in the ISSA senior tournaments are ISSA stamped COR44, 375 psi Compression (or as provided by the tournament).  At most tournaments the ISSA provides each team with one-half dozen (six) softballs and will have additional softballs for purchase.. 


Souvenir T-shirts will be available throughout the weekend at some venues. 


NO ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES may be brought into most of the parks. Park Rangers often monitor the parks and any player(s) caught with alcoholic beverages may be disallowed in the park system for the remainder of the tournament. Pets are not allowed to run loose in most parks. Participants should verify park rules at each venue and comply. 


At most ISSA senior tournaments we will permit individuals and businesses (Vendors) to promote and market their products at the park (fields and parking lot).  All Vendors are required to obtain approval in writing from ISSA and pay a Vendor Fee prior to the start of the tournament.  It is the Vendor’s responsibility to fully comply with all local laws, codes and ordinances governing the business activity.   The Vendor Fee will vary depending on the size and conditions at each ISSA event, at tournaments with 90 or more teams the Vendor Fee is $500 and for tournaments with less than 90 teams the Vendor Fee is $300..  Anyone interested in promoting or selling their product(s) should contact the ISSA Office prior to the event.  This Tournament Rule applies to all players and teams as well as business interests and failure to comply could result in removal from the event.  A special annual Vendor Fee is available to companies who wish to have represntatives at multiple tournaments (contact the ISSA Office for details.)


The Deadline for entering each ISSA senior tournament is posted in the Fact Sheet for each event, generally six weeks prior to the start day..  All participating teams should submit their Entry Fee online or mail to the ISSA Office for receipt prior to the tournament closure..  The Online Entry Form can be submitted when the team decides to participate and prior to the Deadline.  However, some tournaments may close much sooner than the published Deadline when the number of PAID entries reaches the available field capacity.  Please note:  Submittal of the online entry form does not guarantee a team a place in the tournament if they fail to finalize the entry by paying the Entry Fee before the tournament is closed. 


Entry fees are non-refundable. Teams that withdraw after paying the entry fee and more than six weeks prior to the start of the tournament may be given a credit toward a future ISSA tournament in the same calendar year.  Teams that drop out after the published deadline and within six weeks of the event will forfeit their entry fee.  NO EXCEPTIONS

A.  OVER-RUN - In the Women’s 70+,75+ and 80+ divisions only, the baserunner
may over-run any base without being in jeopardy, if she returns to that base without attempting to advance.
B.  OFFICIAL DIAMOND - In the women’s 65+, 70+, 75+ and 80+ divisions, base
distances shall be 60 feet when park facilities allow, and outfield fence distance
shall be a maximum of 250 feet and a minimum of 200 feet when park facilities
allow. The front of the pitching box will be set at 45 feet and extend to 55 feet from home plate.
C.  EQUIPMENT - The Official Softball for the Women’s program will be an
optic yellow 11-inch with a maximum COR of .44 and a maximum compression
of 375
Women 35+, 40+, and 45+:
A maximum of ten (10) players on defense
A minimum of nine (9) players to start a game
A minimum of eight (8) players to finish a game
Women 50+, 55+, 60+, 65+, and 70+:
A maximum of eleven (11) players on defense
A minimum of nine (9) players to start a game
A minimum of eight (8) players to finish a game
Women Division 75+:and 80+
A maximum of twelve (12) players on defense
A minimum of eleven (11) players to start a game
A minimum of ten (10) players to finish a game
E.  RE-ENTRY RULE - In the Women’s 75+ and 80+ age divisions, a player may leave
and re-enter the game unlimited times WITHOUT PENALTY. The batting order
must remain the same.
F.  HOME RUN AND INNING RUN LIMITS - For all Women’s play, all over the
fence home runs count. A maximum of five runs per team per inning will be
allowed (unlimited in last declared inning and all extra innings).
G.  COURTESY RUNNER - In the Women’s 70+, 75+ and 80+ age divisions, the
same player may serve as a courtesy runner an unlimited number of times per
half inning.
H.  TIME LIMIT In all Women’s Divisions pool play and double elimination there will be a 75-minute time limit, finish the inning and play one more. The time limit will be in effect for Preliminary Pool Play Games and Double Elimination games except the Championship Game and "if" game if necessary unless set forth otherwise in the Tournament Supplemental Rules. 
I.  EQUALIZER – In the women’s program, the ISSA equalization rule may be in effect when teams are playing in mixed divisions.       
J. ROSTERS - There is no geographical restrictions and double-rostering is allowed except for 80+ (NOTE:  Special rules governing the 80+ rosters are in effect as promulgated by the 80+ Rules Committee.)  The 70+ teams may have three players 68+ and/or 69+.  The 75+ teams may have three players 73+ and/or 74+.  Contact the ISSA Office for Women's 80+ Division roster requirements.. 
.  . 

Some ISSA Senior Tournaments are designated as Ring Tournaments (on the Tournament Schedule) and the ISSA will award at no cost a championship ring to all the players on the 1st Place teams.  The free rings are purchased in bulk from various vendors.  

Also, the players on the winning team in each division of play in ring tournaments are eligible to purchase a custom ISSA Championship Ring. Custom Ring orders can be made directly with Jostens by contacting their ISSA representative, Cindy Johnson at 507-363-1866:


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