Softball Comments on the Rules - 2022

By NFHS on September 07, 2021 softball Print

1-2-1 - Amends language to clarify that break away bases are permitted.

1-3-3 - Aligns ball tolerance specifications with other rule codes and manufacturers’ standards. Any balls manufactured with the former specifications will be permitted through the 2023-24 school year, to allow for manufacturers and schools to reduce current inventory due to the situation surrounding the pandemic. The new ball specifications are permitted for use during the 2021-22 season and will be required by January 1, 2025.The new ball specifications will be required for the 2024-25 school year.

3-2-5b - This change removes the language prohibiting hard items to control the hair and aligns language with other NFHS rules codes.

3-2-5c - This rule change eliminates the need for authorization from the state association for religious headwear while maintaining the requirement for approval of head coverings worn for medical reasons.

3-5-3 - Additional language brings coach’s attire up to date with current language used to describe approved coaching garments.New language better defines permissible coach’s attire.

3-6-21 & PENALTY - This new article clarifies that a damaged bat, which had been previously removed by an umpire, cannot be reintroduced to the game. It also adds a penalty, which states that the batter is out and both the player and the head coach are restricted to the dugout. For clarification, a damaged bat is defined as a bat that was once legal and subsequently found to have cracks, rattles, dents or burrs; an illegal bat is defined as a bat that has been altered or does not meet the required specifications of a legal bat has been altered or is non-approved (Rule 7-4-2). The first offense for bringing a damaged bat into the batter’s box is the removal of the damaged equipment from the contest without further penalty.  A second offense for bringing a damaged into the batter’s box or is discovered having used a damaged bat a second time will result in the batter being called out, and the head coach and the offender will be restricted to the dugout for the remainder of the contest, and all runners not put out on the play must return to the base occupied at the time of the pitch.

6-2-2 & NOTE - The change removes language from the article and moves it to a note. Having it as a part of this article invokes a different penalty than 3-2-9.  Making it a note in this section still provides the support to keep pitchers legal in this section but removes the discrepancy in penalties.

8-2-6 - The change clarifies a batter-runner’s location in relationship to the running lane when either foot is in the air. The batter-runner is considered to be outside of the running lane if either foot last contacted the ground completely outside the running lane.