FAQ about the Tournament

Photos by Defining Moment

Questions frequently asked about the tournament:

  • What COVID precautions are being taken?
    1. We will limit participants in the coaches’ meeting Sun. evening to 2 per team. As this is an indoor meeting, we ask that you wear a mask if your health situation makes that possible; face shields are another option
    2. Social distancing is encouraged wherever possible; we encourage families to sit in their own chairs
    3. Masks are encouraged where social distancing is challenging (bathrooms, proximity in stands, in line at concessions, etc.), if your health situation makes that possible; face shields are another option
    4. Hand sanitizer stations will be setup throughout the complex (in dugouts, outside each set of stands, bathrooms, in the umpire changing room)
    5. Clorox wipes will be provided in each restroom stall; we will ask everyone to wipe the toilet/flush lever after use
    6. Dugouts will be cleaned between teams; teams with back-to-back games on the same field will remain in the same dugout, regardless of Home/Visitor
    7. Lake Myrtle Park will not be providing water coolers this year; we’ve ordered souvenir sports bottles for players’ and coaches’ individual use
    8. No high-five lineup after games
    9. Prior to traveling to the tournament, teams will be asked to confirm that all attending players and coaches have been free for 14 days from illness symptoms and exposure to anyone with COVID, OR have tested negative for COVID after symptoms/exposure in that timeframe
  • The City of Auburndale, Polk County, and the HWSA Board of Directors thank you for understanding that these precautions are enabling us to hold this tournament.


  • Are there fields available for practice prior to the tournament?
    Yes. Batting cages and the upper four fields (fields 5-8) at Lake Myrtle Park are available on a first-come, first-served basis on the Sunday the day before Opening Day. No access to any fields is allowed prior to Sunday, and practice will not be allowed on the main quadrant of fields (1-4) or on Stadium field. HWSA does not coordinate or schedule practice time slots, and practice is optional at the discretion of each team.

  • Are there fields available for practice on Wednesday?
    No. Batting cages will be open on the off day but the fields are NOT open for practice on this day.

  • Is the coaches’ meeting mandatory?
    Yes. We discuss key rules and tournament processes, hand out tournament programs, t-shirts, and souvenirs, and conduct the random draw of pool assignments. All teams must send 1-2 representatives to this meeting. It is held in the Lake Myrtle office building at 7pm Sunday prior to tournament start, and typically lasts 60-90 min.

  • Is water provided in the dugouts?
    As a COVID precaution, the City of Auburndale is not providing water coolers in the dugouts for 2021. HWSA has ordered individual water bottles as this year’s souvenir for each player and coach. Teams are welcome to bring your own water coolers if you’d like to do so.

  • Are outside food & drinks allowed?
    Yes. There are concessions open throughout our tournament, but families and teams are also free to bring their own food & drinks to the complex.

  • Are canopies allowed?
    Yes. Families and teams can bring sun shades, folding chairs, blankets, etc. to set up along the fence line on their side of the field. For safety, we ask that canopies not be set on top of the bleachers.

  • Is there a gate fee?
    No. Entry to all fields at Lake Myrtle Park is free throughout the week.

  • Are pets allowed?
    Yes. Pets are allowed on a leash at the Lake Myrtle Park campus. Owners are responsible for bringing cleanup bags and ensuring that the animal(s) are well-behaved. If pets cause a disturbance, owners will be asked to take them away from the park.

  • Are metal spikes allowed?
    Metal spikes are allowed on the playing fields but NOT in the batting cages.

  • Is there medical care available?
    We have a first aid kit and list of local minor emergency clinics at the tournament office, but we do not have a medical trainer on site.

  • Do all teams play the same number of games?
    Weather permitting, all teams will play at least 5 games; some teams will play more if their pool goes to a tie-breaker, if they qualify for the “Q round”, and/or if a “Q-round replay” game is needed (see tournament rules). The maximum games a team might play is 7.

  • Do all teams play the entire week?
    Due to the heat and to maximize fairness for teams with smaller rosters, we strive to spread games across the week as much as possible, avoiding back-to-back double headers if at all possible. Each Division has a consolation bracket in addition to the winners’ path. Generally teams play Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri, and Sat, but in years with an odd number of teams participating, one team will finish their tournament on Friday.

  • How are weather issues handled?
    In springtime in Florida, rain is a frequent occurrence. We schedule an open day Wed. in our tournament schedule to allow for rain-out contingencies. We may adjust our schedule if rain interrupts the schedule early in the week, OR if it has a high probability for later in the week. We post all updates to the website in addition to text communication with coaches.
    Games are sometimes suspended and restarted later in the day after rain has passed. If a game is stopped for the day due to weather, NFHS game completion rules apply…

    • If the game is in its first 4.5 innings, or in the bottom of the 5th tied or with visitors ahead, it will be scheduled for restart the next day, picking up from the last play/pitch.
    • If the home team is winning any time after 4.5 innings, the game is complete at the current score.
    • If tied or the visiting team is ahead after 5.0 innings, the game result depends on the score after the last completed inning. If this is a tie, the game will be set to restart from the last play/pitch; if not a tie, the game is complete at that last inning score.
    • If any game which would normally be restarted based on these rules is unable to be restarted, the winner will be determined by the score at the end of the latest complete inning that is not a tie score.