Softball - Rules & Regulations

Rules and Regulations

1-5-2C    The taper is the transition area which connects the narrower handle to the wider barrel portion of the bat.  The taper shall have a solid surface and shall have a conical shape.  Its length and material may vary.

1-8-6 NEW    The use of electronic devices by team personnel to transmit or record information pertaining to his/her player or team’s performance shall be permitted within the team’s dugout/bench area only.  Information obtained from an electronic device may be used for coaching purposes during the game.

2-58 NEW    TEAM MEMBERS  - Team members are players listed on the team’s roster and lineup as submitted to the umpire at the pregame meeting.

2-59 NEW    TEAM PERSONNEL – Team personnel consist of all school representatives located in the team dugout, including but not limited to coaches, managers, certified athletic trainers, and scorekeepers.

3-6-11 NEW    The use of electronic devices is permitted during a game; however any information obtained shall not be used to review decisions made by the umpires.

2014 Softball Editorial Changes

1-5-2A    The bat shall consist of the following components (see Figure 1-7):  Knob.  The knob may be molded, lathed, welded or permanently fastened.  Devices, attachments or wrappings that cause the knob to become flush with the handle are permitted.  The knob may be covered with grip tape.  A one-piece rubber knob and bat grip combination is illegal.  Choke-up devices are not permitted.  

1-6-3    A violation while in live-ball area shall result in a warning to the coach of the team and the individual.  A subsequent violation may result in the individual and coach not being permitted on the field.  

3-2-13 NOTE    The accommodations should not fundamentally alter the sport, heighten risk to the athlete/others or place opponents at a disadvantage.

7-3-1    . . .  move to end of paragraph-However, if the batter steps out of the box or holds up her hand to request time and the pitcher legally delivers the ball, it shall be called a strike and the ball remains live.

7-3-2    A pitched ball that is entirely within the batter’s box strikes the batter or her clothing.  No attempt to avoid being hit by the pitch is required.  However, the batter may not obviously try to get hit by the pitch.

2014 Points of Emphasis

1.    DP/FLEX Education
2.    Player Safety
3.    Equipment Check/Bats
4.    Electronic Devices

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 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).

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
5516 Vern Holmes Drive
Stevens Point, WI 54482-8833
Phone (715) 344-8580
Fax (715) 344-4241
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