Softball Rules Changes - 2017

By NFHS on September 28, 2016 softball Print

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 conical shape. Language requiring the taper to be of a solid surface has been removed.

Rationale: This change brings the NFHS in line with other rules codes concerning the surface of the taper.

3-2-1: While uniforms of team members shall be of the same color and style, state associations permit players to participate while wearing a different style uniform for various reasons, including inclement weather.

Rationale: There may be circumstances in which state associations make accommodations relative to inclement weather, religious exceptions, or other situations.

3-2-7: Exposed undergarments, if worn, are considered part of the official uniform. All exposed undergarments shall be a solid single color: black, white, gray or a school color.

a. For individual players, exposed upper-body undergarments do not have to be the same color as exposed lower-body undergarments.
b. For all team members, exposed upper-body undergarments shall be the same solid single color, and all exposed lower-body undergarments shall be the same solid single color.
c. Garments other than team uniforms such as arm sleeves, leg sleeves, and tights are permissible. Anything worn on the arm or leg is a sleeve, except a brace, and shall meet the color restrictions.

Rationale: Multi-color undergarments and sleeves are a distraction and create a possible safety concern. This rule establishes solid color requirements similar to other NFHS sport rules.

3-2-15 NEW: All equipment shall be inspected by the umpire, and is to be placed outside the dugout/bench prior to the start of the game.

Rationale: Placing all equipment in one location at one time is a more efficient method to conduct this inspection.

3-6-7 PENALTY: Players and substitutes shall not enter the contest unreported. The umpire shall issue a team warning to the coach of the team involved and the next offender on that team shall be restricted to the dugout/bench for the remainder of the game. The head coach is also restricted to the dugout/bench for the remainder of the game for a second violation.

Rationale: Language clarifies when the coach is restricted to the dugout/bench.


2017 Major Editorial Changes

6-2-2; 7-4-8 NOTE; 8-1-2; 8-2-4 EXCEPTION


2017 Points of Emphasis

  1. Pitching
  2. Uniforms
  3. DP/FLEX Simplified