2023 Borough Cup Rules

As a tournament meant to crown a true Champion for NYC, we require the majority of the players on a given team to either reside or go to school within the five boroughs (i.e. Roster of 10 must have 6 players meet the criteria). Furthermore, those individuals from outside the Big Apple are expected to be from towns neighboring or in close vicinity of our borders. To ensure the integrity of the tournament, the Borough Cup has the power to declare the eligibility of all participants.

While the objective is to have all teams only play opponents within their Borough (BK, SI, QU, BX/MN) until the Playoff Round, the Borough Cup reserves the right to reorganize pools depending on registration numbers within each division. 





1. Umpires and Coaches must be aware of all rules. To ensure everything is being enforced properly, Coaches should carry a copy of the Tournament Rules at all times. Rules can be found on our Website.


2. Tournament Timeline

a) Pool Play: Thursday August 3rd-Wednesday August 9th (Exceptions On A Case By Case Basis)

b) Play-In/Rain Date: Thursday August 10th & Friday August 11th

c) City Playoffs & Skills Challenge: Saturday August 12th & Sunday August 13th (HBQVB-Padavan Preller Fields, Queens)

d) U8-U12 Championships at Maimonides Park: Saturday August 19th (SIUH Community Park, Staten Island)

e) U13-U16 Championships at Maimonides Park: Sunday August 20th (SIUH Community Park, Staten Island)


3. Pool Play Time Limit, Home Team Determination

a) All U8, U9, & U10 games will be 6 innings and have a strict 1 hour 45 minute time limit.  All U11-U16 games will be 7 innings and have a two-hour time limit. No new inning can start after the time limit has been reached. The umpires and staff will keep time, as well as determine whether or not there is enough time left to begin that new inning.

b) Home team will be determined by a coin toss in pool play.  The home team will be the higher seed in playoff games

c) All U8, U9, & U10 pool play games that are tied after 6 innings or the 1 hour 45 minute time limit will be recorded a tie. All U11-16 pool play games that are tied after 7 innings or the two-hour time limit will be recorded a tie.


4. Scheduling

a) The Borough Cup uses a flexible single-week format for Pool Play. 

b) The tournament schedule will be posted and updated on our website BOROUGHCUP.COM


5. Forfeits 

a) All teams are to be ready at the scheduled starting time and should be present at least 45 minutes before game time. 

b) If a team is not on the field and prepared to start at game time, they will be given a 15-minute grace period to produce the necessary players. If they still do not have enough players (8 minimum) to play once this grace period has expired, they will be given a forfeit.

c) In case of forfeit the winning team will be awarded a winning score of the average runs they scored in all of their pool games vs. “0” runs allowed.  The losing team will have a 10-0 loss recorded. 

d) Any intentional forfeit will result in the forfeiting team being eliminated from the tournament. The tournament committee will rule on intentional forfeits. No team should benefit from the result of a forfeit in an unfair manner. This rule could result in a dispute and the tournament committee reserves the right to look at and rule in the fairest possible way. The committee’s decision will be final! 


6. Rosters

 a) The Borough Cup was created for the children of New York City. As such, the tournament has strict rules regarding the makeup of one’s roster. In order to be eligible to compete, the majority of the players on a given team must reside or go to school within the Five Boroughs (Exp. Roster of 10 must have 6 players from NYC). 

b) Team rosters can have 21 individuals. This usually breaks down to- one (1) manager, two (2) coaches, one (1) scorekeeper, one (1) bat person, and 16 players. If you wish, YOU CAN HAVE A MAXIMUM OF 20 PLAYERS, but everyone must be present for pool play in order to participate in the playoffs.

c) Roster must include first and last name, uniform number, date of birth, and school (Residency Verification). 

d) Only roster personnel can be in the dugout.

e) Rosters changes can be made up until the first game, at which point they lock.  

f) A Player Can Play on a Maximum of Two Teams per tournament as long as they are in different age groups.

g) Organizations that use players illegally will be immediately dropped from the tournament.

h) Tournament officials have the right to request birth certificates/passports for any player, at any time.  Team managers must have copies on hand but if for some reason they do not they are required to supply this proof of age prior to the team’s next scheduled game or within 24 hours of the request being made (whichever is shorter).  Coaches must be prepared to verify birth dates of all their players. All inquiries must be directed to the Tournament Director.  If proof is not submitted in the required time frame the team will be immediately dropped from the tournament.  No excuses or additional delays will be tolerated.

i) In order to be eligible for the City Playoffs, a player must have been present at least one Pool Play game (Coaches DNP Due To Injury Counts). The same is true for City Playoff Games in order to be eligible for the Championships.

j) It is the responsibility of the coaches, not the tournament committee, to make sure all of these items are submitted correctly. In the event a roster related protest occurs, if any of these documents are missing or incomplete, we will automatically side with the complainant. If the issue is still not resolved by the team's next game, they will be asked to leave the tournament.

7. Insurance

a) All teams/organizations must name the tournament as an additional insured and provide proof of such before their first game. The tournament should be listed on the paperwork as:

The Borough Cup Inc.

2753 Coney Island Ave

Brooklyn, NY 11235

b) In addition, all teams must carry their own liability insurance.

8. Tournament Fee and Refund Policy

a) Registration fees are $300 for U8-U10 and $350 for U11-U16. Teams are responsible for covering baseballs for all Pool Play Games. The Borough Cup will assume this responsibility for the playoffs. The umpire fees are as follows:

9. Protests & Consequences

a) Protests will be heard and ruled on by the Tournament Committee. The Committee will only hear protests that relate to specific rules interpretations and not judgment calls made by the umpire (i.e. Tag Plays).  All rulings made by the committee will be final.

b)  There will be a $200 cash fee to protest. The protest will not be recognized unless the umpires are notified at the time the play under protest occurs and before the next pitch, play, or attempted play. In the event it is the final play of the game in question, teams must announce their protest before umpires leave the field. Play may not resume until protest is resolved. If play continues there can be no protest.

c) If the protest is ruled in the protesting teams favor the $200 will be refunded. ALL FORFEITURE MONEY WILL BE DONATED TO CHARITY.

d) Depending on the nature of the protest, there is the possibility of further consequences. If a protest is upheld due to an umpire’s misinterpretation of the rules, the game will be rescheduled and played to completion from the point of the appeal. If a protest is upheld due to a uniform infraction, the team in violation will receive a warning that their next offense will result in expulsion. If a protest is upheld due to a player being ineligible, whether it be due to age or not being on the roster, the offenders will be immediately dismissed from the tournament.

10. Official Game

a) A 7 or 6 inning game is deemed to be official if the home team is ahead after 3 ½ innings or the visitors are ahead after 4 complete innings.  

b) A tie game is considered official after 3 complete innings.

11. Submitting Scores

With so many games happening across the five boroughs at once, having a well-structured process for submitting scores is critical. Following every game, each team is expected to send the following information to the Borough Cup in order for your game to become official:

                 Final Score, Innings, & Location (i.e.. Team A 5 Team B 2, 7 inn @ HBQVB)


12. Weather and Darkness Issues

a) In the case of rain, another weather related issue or darkness games will be suspended and rescheduled for resumption by the Tournament Director and Staff. Remember, a game has become official if the home team is ahead after 3 ½ innings or the visiting team ahead after 4 complete innings. A tie game is considered official after 3 innings.

b) Games may not be made up depending on time constraints.

c) The suspended game will be continued from the point of suspension. Each team may use only those players attending the original game and submitted on the starting line-up form.

d) The Borough Cup reserves the right to reschedule games due to extreme heat. The safety of our players is top priority first and foremost, and we ask for flexibility in rescheduling if we must enforce this rule.

e) In the event lightning strikes, there will be a 25-minute delay before play resumes. If lightning strikes a second time, the 25-minute clock will reset. Any games that experience a third strike will immediately be suspended or made officially depending on how much play has commenced.

Note: No special requests will be honored if rescheduling becomes necessary. All coaches should make sure they have the tournament phone numbers to call for information. If games are canceled the tie breaking procedures (listed below) will determine Pool winners and play-off/championship qualification. In the event play is stopped for any reason before or during the Championship round, first place, second place, third place, etc. may be awarded using the tie breaker rules (see tie breaker rules below). 

13. Sportsmanship and Conduct

a) Foul or abusive language and unsportsmanlike conduct on the field or in the dugout will not be tolerated.

b) The umpires have the responsibility and may within his sole discretion determine to remove those participants and spectators in violation. In cases of severe misconduct, the Tournament Director and Staff may suspend the offending participant or spectator for additional game(s) or the remainder of the tournament. c) Managers are responsible for the conduct of the team members and the fans. Managers unable to control team members or fans, following a warning by the Umpire (s), may face forfeiture of the game.

d) Only Managers may question an umpire. Each team will receive one general warning if an assistant coach questions an umpire. All following questions made by any assistant on that team will result in an immediate ejection.

e) Players and Coaches that are ejected must leave for the remainder of the game in question and may have to sit out the NEXT game or remainder of the tournament.

f) Any coach or player who is ejected for the second time during the tournament will be eliminated from participating for the remainder of the tournament.

g) Throwing a bat, helmet or any piece of equipment in disgust or in a fit of anger after a call can result in an ejection which shall be determined solely within the umpires’ discretion.  Such determinations are final and may not be appealed.  Each incident will be given further review by the tournament committee to decide whether it is deserving of further disciplinary action.

h) If any spectator connected with a team is ejected during a game that person must immediately leave the confines of the field/park and not continue to cause a disturbance.  If a person ejected does not immediately leave as directed the game will be declared a forfeit. 


14. Base and Pitching Distances/Fielding Rules

Division Mound Bases Umpires (Pool Play)

U8- 42 feet 60 feet 1 Umpire (2 Umpires During City Playoffs)

U9 & U10- 46 feet 60 feet 1 Umpires (2 Umpires During City Playoffs)

U11 & U12- 50 feet 70 feet 2 Umpires

U13/14 & U15/16- 60 feet 6 inches 90 feet 2 Umpires





15. Bats

a) The U8, U9, and U10 divisions adhere to the USA BAT GUIDELINES. They are:

• No longer than 32 inches

• No specific weight/length ratio limit

• Wood, metal or composite is allowed

• Non-wood and multi-piece wood bats must be BBCOR or USABat certified

• Barrel diameter for any bat may be no larger than 2 5/8"

b) The U11, U12, U14, and U16 divisions are WOOD BAT ONLY.  No composite, no bamboo, straight wood. The following is a list of illegal bats.  This list is not meant to be fully inclusive but a guide to reduce problems during in game situations.  Demarini Pro Maple Comp DX243, AAA Baum Bat - AAAPRO Adult, Mizuno Maple Carbon Comp MCMC271, Easton Mako Comp Wood  XL2, Brett Bros - MB110, Rawlings Velo Maple Bamboo SL151, Bamboo Bat - HYBB30L

c) All bats being used by a team must be made available to the umpire for eligibility review prior to the game.

16. Hitting Lineup 

a) Can consist of 9 or 10 batters, or your entire roster. Hitting 12 with 5 kids on the bench is not allowed. Both DH’s and or EH’s are allowed. The lineup must be maintained with either 9 or 10 batters once it is established for the entire game. Re-entry rules apply to substitutions for batters and base runners. In the interest of equal playing time, free defensive substitutions are allowed, with the exception of the pitcher.

If a player who was not in the starting lineup comes in to pitch, a corresponding move must be made to the batting order. Given we allow open substitutions, the player removed from the game DOES NOT have to be the starting pitcher.

b) If needed, teams may start a game with 8 players. In this case, the final slot in the lineup will be counted as an out. If additional players arrive after the game has begun, he/she may be added to the empty spot in the batting order or bench at any time. An out will only be recorded if the 9th player's spot is due up and these additional players have not arrived. Teams whose lineups drop to 8 players as the result of injuries or ejection will similarly take an out in that empty spot.

c) Line-up must be submitted to home-plate umpire and opposing manager 20 minutes prior to the start of the game and must include players' full names, uniform number and playing position.  Substitutes that attend the games must also be listed.

d) Borough Cup Staff will come around to take a picture of the lineup either pregame or during the early stages of the game

17. Base Running

a) In the U8-

i) Only stealing of 2nd & 3rd is allowed. Home must be earned by either a walk, a hit by pitch or a batted ball in play if 3rd base is occupied pre-pitch. Advancing on a passed ball, an overthrow to the pitcher, or a throw down to catch a stealing runner is not allowed. 

ii) Again, this rule only applies to runners that occupy third base prior to a pitch being thrown. A runner who begins on second base and ends up being safe at 3rd due to an error can advance on the play.

iii) There will be no dropped third strike.

b) U9, and U10-  

i) Runners may steal every base– only after the ball crosses home plate. If a runner is called for leaving early this will result in a team warning for the first offense, then an out for every other. If the ball is hit when the runner leaves early, the defensive team has the choice of taking the result of the play or have the play be considered a dead ball.

ii) There will be no dropped third strike.

The rest of the base running rules apply to ALL age groups

c) No sliding of any kind running home to first. Team will receive a warning if this occurs. If done again, the batter will be out.

d) Teams have the option of using a courtesy runner for their catcher or pitcher when there is TWO-OUTS. Again, this is optional. If the individual in question is one of your fastest players, by no means do you need to take him out.

e) It is the base runner's responsibility to avoid contact with any fielder who has the ball.  Slide or avoid is in effect at all times when fielder is in possession of ball.  Contact without sliding is an automatic out (INTERFERENCE) and intentionally running into a fielder who is in possession of the ball is grounds for ejection.

f) Obstruction is the act of a fielder who, while not in possession of the ball and not in the act of fielding the ball, impedes the progress of any runner.  Phantom tags are not allowed, and are considered an obstruction of the runner.  

g) Obstruction and Interference are judgment calls.

18. Pitching 

a) The 2023 Borough Cup Pitch Count Rules Are:


                           0 Days 1 Days   2 Days    3 Days   4 Days


7-8       50           1-20    21-35    36-50     N/A      N/A


9-10     75          1-20    21-35    36-50      51-65    66+


11-12   85          1-20    21-35    36-50     51-65    66+


13-14   95          1-20    21-35    36-50     51-65    66+


15-16   95          1-20    21-35    36-50     51-75    75+

b) All managers/coaches will be expected to use these throughout the tournament. A pitcher may only go over the limit if they hit their max in the middle of a plate appearance, in which case they are allowed to finish the batter before being removed. Between every ½ inning, both managers are required to confer with the home plate umpire to establish how many pitches were thrown that inning. When a pitcher is replaced, a similar conference will occur to determine his final number.

c) The 3rd to 1st pick-off move is legal.

d) Pitchers are required to throw the ball to issue an intentional walk. This doesn't count toward the pitch count.

e) In the U11 & U12, one balk warning will be issued to each team per game. After that, all balks will be upheld. There will be no warning for the U13 & U14.

19. Scoring & Run Limits/Scorekeeping

a) Only the U8 Division has limits to the number of runs scored in an inning. For every inning except the last, teams will only be allowed to score a maximum of 5 runs. This is a drop dead the second the 5th run in an inning is scored (No continuation). In the last inning, which will be declared by the umpire when a new frame starts 20 minutes of gametime or less remaining, teams can score unlimited runs. In the event that pace of play allows for another inning to take place, the unlimited run rule will carry over.

b) All teams MUST use the GAMECHANGER APP (exceptions on a case by case bases).. 

c) To eliminate scoring disputes, scorekeepers must confer with the umpire and the opposing team’s official scorer at the end of each half inning regarding pitch count and score.

d) If no scorekeeper is available for one team, the team’s scorekeeper that is present will be considered official. That scorekeeper is still required to confer with the umpire and opposing coach at half inning intervals.

20. Mercy Rule

a) The game will end if the visiting team is behind by 15 or more runs after 2 1/2 innings or the visiting team is ahead by 15 or more runs after 3 complete innings.

b) The game will end if the visiting team is behind by 12 or more runs after 3 1/2 innings or the visiting team is ahead by 12 or more runs after 4 complete innings.

c)  The game will end if the visiting team is behind by 8 or more runs after 4 1/2 innings or the visiting team is ahead by 8 or more runs after 5 complete innings.  

d) Given the impact of pitch counts and tie-breakers, the home team will not be allowed to walk off if they go up by the mercy total in the Bottom half of an inning. The only time there is a “drop dead” in effect is if the home team goes ahead by the run limit in the bottom half of an elimination game. Other than that, you have to play ball.

d) From the sixth innings on, if the visiting team goes ahead by 8 or more runs, the home team must get an opportunity to bat in the bottom half.

21. Re-Entry

Each player in the original batting order can be removed from the game for a substitute and later reinserted into the game. When re-inserted, the player must be placed back into his same position IN THE BATTING ORDER. This only applies to starters. Players who were not in the original batting order can enter the game, but once removed these substitutes CANNOT re-enter the game. Remember, there are FREE DEFENSIVE SUBSTITUTIONS to help coaches distribute playing time more evenly.

22. Trips to the Mound

The pitcher must be replaced on the 2nd trip to the mound in any inning or after three total trips per game unless the coach is beckoned by the umpire due to possible injury or other issue.


23. Dug-outs (City Playoffs Only)

a) During all play, the teams listed as the home team will use the third base dugout

b) Similarly, the teams listed as the visiting team will use the first base dugout.

24. Speed up Rule and Efficient Use of Time

a) The speed up rule is optional with 2 outs for either the pitcher or catcher.  The runner is someone not in the lineup and if no one is available then the last batted out.  

i) This runner must enter the game between and not during plate appearances. 

b) There will be three minutes from the final out of the previous half-inning to the start of play in the next half inning.

c) Players are expected to hustle on and off the field at all times. Pitchers are permitted to throw 8 warm-up pitches in their first inning of work and 5 in each inning there-after. If a catcher is putting his gear on it is expected that another player (wearing mask) will warm-up the pitcher. Coaches are also permitted to warm up the pitcher, it is not mandatory that coaches wear a mask for warm-ups. Pitchers that enter game due to an injury will receive unlimited warm-up pitches.

25. Fielding Practice

a) Is generally not allowed because games must remain on schedule

b) The hosting organization must grant permission; then under the umpire’s discretion if time allows, teams will be allowed to take fielding practice.

c) If fields are soft, infield may not be allowed due to facility requests.

26. Uniforms

a) Each player on a team must have at minimum matching color hats and jerseys/shirts with numbers on the back. To make it simple, everything from the waist up must match!

b) In the event that a player’s jersey has been lost over the course of the summer, they will be permitted to play in matching colored team apparel with a number taped on the back. At no point during the tournament will a player be allowed to wear a jersey with a different number than the one submitted on the roster before the tournament.

c) Like players, coaches are to be dressed in team attire for all games. Acceptable apparel includes full uniform, team polo with khaki/cargo shorts/pants, or team colored shirts with color neutral shorts or sweats. Jeans, camo, graphic tee’s, and other streetwear is not permitted. Umpires and the Tournament Committee have the right to remove any coach from the dugout for not meetings this dress code.

d) For safety reasons players are not permitted to wear jewelry during the games. Medical alert jewelry and Phiten Necklaces will be an exception to this rule.

27. Pool Play Tie Breaker Rules

The Borough Cup uses a traditional scoring system to determine pool winners and playoff seeding in which 3pts are awarded for a Win, 1pt for a Tie, and 0pts for a loss. Tiebreakers are as follows:

a) Total Points (In the event that two teams have played an unequal amount of games, points/gm will be used)

b) If two teams are tied – Head to Head winner

c) If three teams are tied – If one team has defeated both other teams, that team advances.

If teams have not played or the tie is still not broken, we will use tiebreakers in the following order:

d) Total Runs Allowed (RA) in pool play. (In the event that two teams have played an unequal amount of games, total RA divided by games played will be used)

e) Total Runs Scored (RS) in pool play. (In the event that two teams have played an unequal amount of games, total RS divided by games played will be used)

f) Total runs allowed subtracting game with most runs allowed in pool play (Same process as 26.d applies if teams played unequal games.)

g) Total runs scored subtracting game with most runs scored in pool play (Same process as 26.d applies if teams played unequal games.)

h) Runs scored inning by inning starting with first game until one team has more runs after a complete inning starting with pool games

Note If pool play ends early due to poor weather we will go to best winning percentage to determine the bracket standings. A minimum of 2 games must be played in pool play to be eligible for the playoff round

28. City Playoffs/Championship Play

a) The City Playoffs format will be announced following the release of pool play schedules. 

b) All teams must be available for all times on both days

c) All playoff games will have a two-hour time limit regardless of age group. Championship games will have a 2 hour and 15 minute time limit.

d) The higher seed will be the home team in all playoff games.

e) The Mercy Rule is in effect.

f) Playoff games that finish in a tie after regulation will immediately proceed to the new MLB Extra Innings Format (Last Out on 2nd Base, Nobody Out). The exception to this rule is the Championships where 3 innings of additional play will be allowed.

29. CPR and First Aid

 a)   Each team must have at least one coach certified in CPR at all games.

 b)   Each team must carry to each game an appropriately stocked first aid kit.

30. Umpires

a) The umpire(s) have full control from the time he/she arrives on the field and both teams are present and until the game reaches its full completion.

b) Only the Borough Cup Staff can overrule an umpire during an argument/dispute.

c) Each umpire has attended a mandatory pre-tournament meeting during which they sat through a complete rules reviews and were given the opportunity to ask questions.

d) Managers are expected to report any issues (number of umpires, timeliness, competency, demeanor, etc.) with the umpires immediately after a game. If nothing is reported then it will be assumed that the umpire(s) was/were at the games and did an adequate job.

31. Miscellaneous

a) A player who unintentionally throws a bat after swinging will be warned. This is a team warning. Any player on that team throwing a bat after the warning will be called out.

b) Major League Baseball Rules (11U/12U/13U/14U) and Little League Rules (8U/9U/10U) apply in all other cases (Please see links on the Borough Cup Website for complete list of these rules).

c) If there is any situation not covered in the above rules the tournament committee will make the fairest possible ruling and its ruling will be final!