2 Rule 1 Field and Equipment The Field: The rear tip of home plate and the front edge of the pitcher’s plate shall be 43 feet.Situation: In the top of the first inning, Team A scores several runs because the pitcher has difficulty throwing strikes. At the end of the half inning, as Team B takes warm up pitches, she complains that the distance is incorrect. When measured, the distance is wrong. Is the pitcher’s plate to be reset immediately at the proper distance or does the pitcher of Team B have to finish the inning at that distance?
3 RulingAnytime an incorrect distance ( pitcher’s plate, batter’s boxes, or bases) is discovered, it shall be corrected immediately, even though one team may have been placed at a disadvantage.When coaches agree to play on a field or the game has started, the non-regulation facility cannot be protested.
4 Media AreaMedia shall be prohibited from being in live-ball area, unless marked. The home team or management shall designate a lined area for the media.Situation: A designated media area has been established beyond first base next to the out-of-play fence. An overthrow goes into the occupied area, (a) passes through, untouched, in flight; (b) passes through untouched, rolling on the ground; (c) comes to rest, (d) touches a photographer or piece of equipment, before rolling through the area.
5 RulingIn (a) the ball remains live. In (b), (c), and (d), the ball becomes dead immediately.Runners advance two bases. (batted or thrown)Pitched ball, runners advance one base
6 SoftballsThe ball shall be optic yellow. The COR.47 max. The specification of color, COR, and compression shall be identical for all balls used for each game.The NFHS mark shall be on each ball.
7 SituationThe home team’s coach provides the umpire with an optic yellow and a white softball for the game. Is this the correct procedure?Upon inspection of the game balls the umpires notice that two of the balls show a COR of .44. The other ball has a COR of .47. Do all balls need to have the same COR?
8 Ruling No, both balls must be optic yellow. Yes. The specifications of COR and color (includes stitching) must be identical for all balls used in each game.
9 Gloves / MittsGloves and mitts may be a maximum of two colors excluding lacing and manufacturer’s logo colors. Lacing shall not be the color of the ball.Not be entirely gray, white or optic in color.Not have a gray, white, or optic colored marking on the outside or inside that gives the appearance of the ball.Be permitted to have one American flag not to exceed 2x3 inches.Glove size: Height 14 inches, Width 8 inches
10 SituationMembers of Team A take the field all wearing gloves with (a) 2 x 3 inch American flags; (b) red, white and blue fingers.The pitcher for Team A is using a tan and brown glove. The lacing for the fingers has been repaired with a white shoestring. Optic yellow balls are being used in the game.
11 RulingLegal in (a). Illegal in (b). Gloves/Mitts may be a maximum of two colors. The illegal gloves are removed from the game and the head coach is given a warning. The next player not being properly equipped will result in the player and head coach being restricted to the dugout/bench for the rest of the game.Legal, Glove lacing may be any color other than that of the ball and is not considered one of the two colors.
12 BatsAll bats shall meet the 2004 ASA performance standard, bear either the 2000 or 2004 ASA certification mark, and not be on the ASA non-approved list as found on
13 SituationPrior to the game, while inspecting each team’s bats, the umpire discovers a bat that has the 2004 ASA mark. It is also listed on the ASA approved list. The bat has a rubber device on the knob of the bat designed to reduce sting.B1 appears at bat with a bat that is (a) aluminum, (b) magnesium, (c) graphite-composite, (d) fiberglass, (e) titanium
14 RulingProvided the device does not make the knob flushto the handle, it is legal.Legal in all situations provided that the bat meets 2004 ASA Bat Performance Standard and has not been altered or enhanced in any way.If the batter steps into the batter‘s box with an altered or non-approved bat the batter is out . The ball is dead immediately. All runners must return to the base occupied at the time of the pitch. The batter and head coach are also ejected.
15 Batting HelmetsA batting helmet with a permanently affixed NOCSAE stamp and legible exterior warning label is mandatory for each batter, on-deck batter, players/students in the coaches boxes, runners and retired runners.
16 SituationsB4 receives a walk. On her way to first base she removes her helmet to give it to the on-deck batter.During pregame inspection of equipment, the umpire notices that two batting helmets have tinted eye shields attached to the helmet’s face protection.
17 RulingThe ball is live and at the end of playing action, B4’s coach is issued a team warning. B4 is not declared out. The next player not properly equipped will result in the player and head coach being restricted to the dugout for the rest of the game.The umpires shall not permit players to wear these helmets. Eye shields must permit 100% allowable light transmission and not be tinted.
18 Rule 2 DefinitionsAltered bat. A bat that was once legal, but has been structurally changed including, but not limited to : shaving, rolling or artificially warming the bat barrel.Non-approved bat. A bat that does not meet ASA specifications and has been placed on the current non-approved bat list. (www.asasoftball.com)
19 Situations Foul Ball, Tip With R-1 on first, B-2 hits a foul ball which goes directly to the catcher’s mitt or hand and is (a) is caught , or (b) is dropped. In either case R-1 advances to second.
20 RulingIn (a) , It is a foul tip and is treated as any other strike; R-1 has stolen second. In (b) it is a foul ball and R-1 must return to first.
21 Situation Infield fly Rule R-1 and R-2 are on second and first bases with no outs. B-3 hits a hits a high pop ball between home and first base with F-3 losing sight of the ball in the sun. The ball lands on foul ground without being touched and rolls into fair territory halfway between home and first base. F-1 picks up the ball and throws to F-4 covering first, who touches R-2 with the ball while R-2 is off the base.
22 RulingFair ball. Even though the infield fly was not called, it is still in effect. B- 3 is out. R-2 is also out.
23 Situation Interference B-1 chops the ball and causes it to bounce just in front of home plate. F-2 fields the ball but does not throw it to first base because B-1 was running outside the three-foot running lane, and F-2 thought that she would hit the runner.
24 RulingNo infraction has occurred and the ball remains alive. Interference cannot be called unless F-2 actually throws the ball to first base.
25 Situation Obstruction F-2, (a) with the ball, (b) without the ball, is blocking home plate. R-1 slides into F-2 and is tagged out.
26 RulingIn (a) R-1 is out. In (b) the umpire would call obstruction and signal delayed dead ball. The runner would be awarded the base, in the umpire’s judgment, she would have received had there been no obstruction.
27 Rule 3 Players, Substitutes and Coaches 3-1-3 Penalty After the lineup card has been submitted to and verified by the umpire and a change is subsequently made to a player/substitute name or number, or if a player/substitute is added to the lineup card, the umpire shall issue a team warning to the head coach of the team involved. Any further changes made to a player/substitute name or number results in the head coach being restricted to the dugout/bench area for the remainder of the game.
28 SituationIn the third inning, S1 reports to the plate umpire, but (a) her name is not on the lineup card even though she was on the bench at the start of the game, or (b) S1 arrived after the game had started and therefore was not on the lineup card; (c) S1’s name is listed properly, but her number is listed incorrectly.
29 RulingIn all cases, S1 is eligible to enter the game as a substitute. In (a) and (b) S1’s information may be added to the lineup card, and in (c) the number is corrected. However in all cases, her head coach receives a team warning. Any further change or addition to the lineup card in number or name results in the head coach being restricted to the dugout/bench area for the remainder of the game.
30 Rule ChangeAny player who exhibits (loss of consciousness, headache, dizziness, confusion, or balance problems) shall be immediately removed from the game and shall not return to play until cleared by an appropriate health-care professional.(Guidelines found in Appendix B p.88 of the rule book)
31 SituationIn the second inning of the first game of a day long tournament,F-8 runs into the fence chasing a fly ball and exhibits signs of a concussion. After being helped off the field, (a)the coach tells the umpire that he/she will take responsibility for attending to F-8 returning to action or (b), F-8 father says his daughter may return to play.
32 RulingIn (a) and (b) the school/coach is responsible for attending to F-8, who must be removed from the game immediately and may not return to play in the current or any subsequent game until cleared by the appropriate health-care professional.
33 Rule ClarificationHard and items (guards, cast, braces, splints, etc.) must be padded with ½ inch slow recovery foam. Knee and ankle braces which are unaltered from the manufacturer’s original design/ production do not require any additional padding/covering.
34 SituationDuring the pregame meeting, the coach of Team B request the umpire to check a brace wore by A12. The brace has exposed metal hinges.
35 RulingThe umpires determine that exposed metal hinges may be worn but must be covered.
36 SituationF1 is removed from the game and replaced by S1. After S1 has faced two batters, F1 re-enters the game in the same position.
37 Ruling Legal, however F1 is not permitted any warm-up pitches. Note a pitcher returning in the same half inning will not be granted any warm-up pitches. Rule 6-5 p. 53 Rule Book
38 SituationBefore the game, but after lineups have been given to the plate umpire, the home coach withdraws F1 from the contest for disciplinary reasons. S1 pitches the for the first three innings. The coach then informs the umpire that F1 will come into the game to pitch in the top of the fourth inning.
39 RulingLegal. F1 is entitled one re-entry as any other player and she may re-enter to pitch.
40 SituationIn the fifth inning, Jones enters the game as the DP and is placed at the end of the batting order.
41 RulingIllegal. The DP must be announced prior at the start of the game with her name entered on the starting lineup.
42 SituationDP-Jones hits a triple and sprain her ankle sliding into third base. The coach has substitute Green enter the game to be the pinch runner for DP Jones. How does this affect the playing status of DP Jones and the Flex player, Smith , for whom Jones is batting?
43 RulingWhen a pinch runner or pinch hitter replaces the DP, that player becomes the new DP. DP-Jones can re-enter later or Flex Smith could bat in substitute-Green’s position later and it would be legal.
44 SituationFlex Smith begins the game playing defense at second base. In the fourth inning, without reporting, she bats in place of Jones, the starting DP.
45 RulingFlex-Smith is an unreported substitute. The umpire shall issue a team warning to the coach of the team involved and the next offender shall be restricted to the dugout. When Flex-Smith bats , this removes DP-Jones from the game and requires a re-entry to return to the game.
46 SituationTeam A is using ten players in its lineup, with DP-Jones batting third. Flex-Smith is playing right field and is a very fast runner. In the first, third and sixth innings, DP-Jones gets on base and , in each case, Flex-Smith is put in to run. Is it legal?
47 RulingIt is legal for the defensive player (Flex) to do this since she has never left the game. However it would be illegal for the starting DP-Jones to return to bat in the sixth. This is a violation of the re-entry rule.
48 SituationTeam A has only ten players and is utilizing the DP option. The Flex-Smith is pitching and is listed in the tenth position. DP-Jones is batting in the fifth spot in the batting order. In the fourth inning the shortstop (batting 8th) is injured and forced to leave the game.
49 RulingDP-Jones may play shortstop or any defensive position at the same time as Flex-Smith. The team is able to maintain nine players on defense, but may only bat eight ( an out being recorded when the 8th spot comes to bat).
50 SituationR1 slides into second base and scrapes her knee, causing it to bleed.
51 RulingThe umpire shall stop play and summon the player’s coach and/or trainer to attend to the injured player. If the appropriate treatment can be administered in a reasonable amount of time, based on umpire judgment, she may resume playing without having to leave the game.
52 SituationS1, who is an illegal substitute, scores, but B4 is thrown out for the third out attempting to advance to second. As both teams change positions, and before a pitch to the next batter can be made, the umpire is informed by the opposing team’s coach that S1 is an illegal substitute.
53 RulingEven though both teams changed positions, a pitch had not been thrown to the next batter. The run by S1 is nullified and the out made by B4 stands. S1 is restricted to the bench/dugout for the duration of the game and B5 leads off the next inning.
54 SituationThe home coach has been restricted to the dugout for a rules violation. May he or she occupy the third base coach’s box?
55 RulingNo; team personnel restricted to the dugout may not occupy the coach’s box.
56 SituationCoach of Team A requests time and goes into fair territory to talk with the pitcher. The coach is wearing white jeans and a T-shirt with the team name on it.
57 RulingThe coach is not dressed in compliance with the rules . The coach may not appear in live ball territory unless properly attired. Jeans of any type are not allowed.
58 SituationR1 is on third base with no one out.B2 hits a fly ball to left field. While the ball is in flight , the third-base coach pushes R1 back toward third base. F7 makes the catch.
59 Ruling R1 is out for being aided and B2 is out on the catch. If a homerun is hit over the fence the ball will be dead when it clears the fence. R1 is out and B2 will be allowed to score unless R1 was the third out then no run will score.
60 SituationThe home coach while his or her team is on defense turns a bucket upside down and sits on it just outside the dugout to get a better view of the playing action.
61 RulingIllegal. Coaches must stay inside the designated dugout area. The coach shall receive a team warning. Any subsequent offender shall be restricted to the dugout/bench for the remainder of the game.
62 SituationThe coach of the defensive team goes out to talk to her pitcher in the 8th inning (a) after having used the three allowable defensive conferences in the first seven innings, or (b) not having used any of the allowable conferences in the first seven innings.
63 RulingThere is no penalty in either (a) or (b). A team is permitted three defensive charged conferences in a seven inning game, and if the game goes extra innings, that team is allowed only one charged defensive conference in each of the extra innings, and any unused conferences in the first seven innings are no longer available.
64 Rule 4 Starting and Ending the Game The home coach shall decide if the grounds and other conditions are suitable for starting the game.The pregame conference shall begin approximately 5 minutes before the game.The game begins when the umpire calls “play ball” . After the game starts the umpires are the sole judges as to whether conditions are fit to play.
65 Ending the GameThe game ends when the team behind has completed its bat in the 7th inning or any extra inning. If the home team scores the go ahead run in the bottom of the 7th inning or any extra inning, the game is terminated at that point. The game ends after five innings of play if one team is ahead by ten or more runs.