Softball - Rules & Regulations

Rules and Regulations

1-6-1 The batting helmet shall not have a non-glare or mirror-like surface.

Rationale: The chrome or mirror like surface of the batting helmet is illegal due to its distracting nature which may be dangerous to other players.

1-7-1 The catcher’s helmet shall not have a non-glare or mirror-like surface.

Rationale: The chrome or mirror like surface of the catcher's helmet is illegal due to its distracting nature which may be dangerous to other players.

2015 NFHS Editorial Changes

1-6-1 The exterior warning label may be affixed…or embossed (at the time point of manufacture).

Rationale:  To update the language

1-6-6 The phrase, “Meets NOCSAE Standard at the time of manufacture”…

Rationale:  To update the language

1-7-1 The catcher shall wear a catcher’s helmet…that meets the NOCSAE standard at the time of manufacture.

Rationale:  To update the language

5-1-4 After a dead-ball situation, the ball becomes live when it is held by the pitcher on the pitcher's plate and the umpire calls and/or signals "Play Ball." and gives a beckoning hand signal

Rationale: Current wording does not reflect current practice. Would clarify Rule 8-6-18 as to whether ball is live or dead should runner(s) leave their bases when pitcher is outside the circle. Encourage umpires to use Signal “B” page 87 “Official NFHS Softball Signals” chart.

7-1-1 & 2 Pen 2 When an improper batter becomes a runner or is put out and the defensive team appeals to the umpire before the next pitch (legal or illegal), or prior to an intentional base on balls (S.P.), or before all infielders have left fair territory and the catcher vacates her normal fielding position the infielders leave the diamond if a half-inning is ending. The umpire shall declare the batter who should have batted out (not the improper batter). The improper batter's time at bat is negated and she is returned to the dugout/bench area. All outs stand and runners who were not declared out must return to the base occupied at the time of the pitch. If a runner advances because of a stolen base, wild pitch, passed ball (F.P.) or an illegal pitch (F.P.) while the improper batter is at bat, such advance is legal.

Rationale: The time when appeals must be made is covered under Rule 2, Section 1, Article  4.  Rule 7, Articles 1 & 2 penalty should reflect same wording as Rule 2-1-4.  “Fair territory” is different area than “diamond.”

Rule 2-1-4 wording:

ART. 4 . . . When. Appeals must be made:

a. before the next legal or illegal pitch;

b. at the end of a half-inning, before all infielders have left fair territory and the catcher vacates her normal fielding position; or

c. on the last play of the game, before the umpires leave the field of play.

NOTE: If any situation arises which could lead to an appeal by the defense on the last play of the game, umpires should not leave the field until all infielders have left fair territory and the catcher has vacated her normal fielding position. If teams line up to shake hands there is little chance for an appeal even if the defensive infielders have not crossed the foul line and umpires can leave the game at this point. No appeal can be made once the umpires have left the field.

2015 NFHS Point of Emphasis

1. Electronic Devices

2. Interference

3. Obstruction



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

WISCONSIN ADAPTATIONS TO NATIONAL FEDERATION RULES - SOFTBALL 2014

(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 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.

STATE ASSOCIATION REGULATIONS
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).

TOURNAMENT PROCEDURES
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.    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.
f.    Pregame warm-up protocol is required.





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Wisconsin Interscholastic
Athletic Association
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