By Maddie Koss of the NFHS on July 12, 2016
The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Softball Rules Committee approved four additions to Rule 3 regarding uniforms, equipment and substitutions at its June 13-15 meeting in Indianapolis. These changes approved by the committee, along with one in Rule 1, were subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.
Rule 3-2-15 states that all equipment shall be inspected by the umpire, and is to be placed outside the dugout/bench prior to the start of the game. The rules committee agreed that placing all equipment in one location at one time is a more efficient method to conduct this inspection.
“The committee believes that expediting the inspection of all equipment will make the process more efficient and done in a timely fashion,” said Sandy Searcy, NFHS director of sports and staff liaison for softball.
In Rule 3-2-1, the committee added inclement weather as an exception to the uniform rule for state associations.
The Softball Rules Committee also approved new language to Rule 3-2-7 to reinforce the solid color undergarments requirements.
“We felt it was important to standardize the colors of the undergarments not only to reinforce the solid color requirements similar to other NFHS sport rules, but also because it can be a distraction and create a possible safety concern,” Searcy said.
In Rule 3-6-7, which states that players and substitutes shall not enter the contest unreported, the penalty was revised to state that the head coach is restricted to the dugout/bench for the remainder of the game only for a second violation.
The committee also revised Rule 1-5-2c by eliminating the description of the taper’s surface. This change brings the NFHS in line with other rules codes concerning the surface of the taper.
A complete listing of the softball rules changes will be available on the NFHS website at www.nfhs.org. Click on “Activities & Sports” at the top of the home page, and select “Softball.”
According to the 2015-16 NFHS High School Athletics Participation Survey, there are 364,103 girls participating in fast-pitch softball at 15,115 schools.