Softball - Rules & Regulations

Rules and Regulations

2-57-4 New: Art 4… Projected Substitute.  A projected substitute is a player who does not immediately participate in the game. Projected substitutes are not permitted (3-3-3).

Rationale: To provide a standard definition for a “projected” substitute and to help clarify Rule 3-3-3.


NOTE: One American flag, not to exceed 2 inches by 3 inches, may be worn or occupy space on the jersey. By state association approval, to allow for special occasions, commemorative or memorial patches, not to exceed 4 square inches, may be worn on jerseys.





Printable Version - Please print and place in your rules book.


(You can print a copy of this document that is formatted to fit in your rule book from our web site.)

Rule 1-2-1 Note     A double first base must be used at all levels of competition.

Rule 4-2-3    A game called for any reason where a winner cannot be determined will be treated as a suspended game.  If the game is to be completed, it will be continued from the point of suspension and a suspended game will be completed unless both schools agree not to do so.  If the score is tied and both schools agree not to complete the game, it should be counted as one-half win and one-half loss for each team. (4-2-5)

Rule 4-2-3 (Note)  If a regular season game is called prior to the completion of any full inning, NFHS Rule 4-2-2 will be applied.  If a WIAA tournament game is called prior to the completion of any full inning, after the fifth inning the game becomes a suspended game if the visiting team has scored one or more runs to tie the score or take the lead and the home team has not retaken the lead.

Rule 4-2-3    A game will end when after five innings a team is ten or more runs behind and has completed its turn at bat.   Note:  The Ten Run Rule must be used in all tournament games except the four State Championship games.

Rule 4-2-3    By conference agreement or mutual agreement by both head  coaches prior to the start of the game, a game may end after 3 innings if a team is 15 or more runs behind and has completed its turn at bat.

Rule 4-2-3    A minimum of 1 1/2 hour time limit may be placed on games. No new inning may be started once the time limit has elapsed, regardless of the number of innings played, unless tied in tournament play.  (This is a conference or host school decision, not umpire’s prerogative.)

Rule 8-9     Courtesy runners may be used.  Mutual agreement of coaches is not necessary.

Rule 4-2-3 Note 2   The number of innings for one or both games in a double-header may be scheduled for five (5) innings.  Current game ending procedures still apply.

Rule 4-2-6   The International Tie-breaker may be used, with prior agreement/announcement, for all regular season games (mutual agreement by both teams) and regular season tournaments (host decision).  Conferences may determine use of the tie-breaker and should have this stated in their by-laws. The use of the International Tie-breaker is not allowed in the WIAA tournament series.  If a game is tied after 7 innings, the game will continue using the International Tie-breaker.  Each team starts the inning with the player completed the last official at bat as a base runner on second base.  Each team has the opportunity to bat each inning.

1.  Official’s Uniform
                 Shirt - Powder blue.   Slacks - Heather gray.
                 Hat - Navy blue.   Shoes/socks/belt - Black.   Jacket - Navy blue.
2.  Official’s Equipment
     Mandatory Equipment - Face mask and throat protector.
     Recommended - Chest protector, protective cup, shin guards, ball/strike indicator, pencil, line-up card.
3.  NFHS approved, optic yellow balls shall be used for all regular season games.
4.  In the absence of a conference approved ball, teams are allowed to provide and use their own game ball in regular season play provided it meets NFHS specifications and is optic yellow.
5.  Nonvarsity teams shall be allowed to wear old varsity uniforms which are now unapproved provided participant safety is not jeopardized.
6.  Both head coaches and the umpires are responsible for being in possession of a current non-approved bat list from the ASA website.
7.  Pregame warm-up:  35 minutes  
    Thirty-five minutes prior to start of game home field takes field.  The field is defined as the entire enclosed field (live ball area).  Twenty minutes prior to start of game visiting team takes field.  Five minutes prior to start of game the pregame meeting will be held and the infield prepped for play.  Recommended for regular season.

8. On-deck batters.  For the beginning of each inning, the first two batters should be positioned in front of their team’s dugout.  Thereafter team's players shall warm-up in the on-deck circle located behind the batter. Right handed batter:  Next batter located in the on-deck circle closest to 3rd base dugout. Left handed batter:  Next batter located in the on-deck circle closest to 1st base dugout.  Required not optional.
9.  Varsity Fields.  All varsity games must be held on fields with an outfield fence at 185'-235' (more information can be found in the Softball Season Regulations, Page 29).
NEW 10.  All batting helmets are required to be school colors or neutral (white, black, gray) colors.  Only school logos, reward or commenrative stickers are allowed beyond the NFHS requirement (Rules 1-6-1 and 1-7-1)

a.    The highest seeded team in all regional games will also be designated as the HOME team.
b.    A coin flip determines the home team for Divisions 2, 3 & 4 sectional tournament games.  In Division 1, the highest seeded team remaining is the home team.
c.    In neutral site tournament games, the first team alpha will have the third base dugout and warm-up first.  The coin flip (Div. 2, 3 & 4) to determine home and away should be conducted by the site coordinator or umpires at least 45 minutes prior to the start of the game.  In the case of a school hosting and playing in this game, they would determine which dugout is their preferred dugout and would warm-up first.  A coin flip would still be necessary (Div. 2, 3 & 4).

d.    Except for the four State Championship games, a game will end when after five innings a team is ten or more runs behind and has completed its turn at bat.
e.  Except for the State Tournament games (quarterfinal, semifinal and championship games), a game will end when after three innings a team is 15 or more runs behind had has completed its turn at bat.
f.    The maximum number of participants for each tournament game is 18.  Each participating school will be allowed a maximum of 18 players in uniform for each tournament game.
g.    Pregame warm-up protocol is required.

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Wisconsin Interscholastic
Athletic Association
5516 Vern Holmes Drive
Stevens Point, WI 54482-8833
Phone (715) 344-8580
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