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slot canyon

2017 Softball Rules

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Flow Softball (www.flosoftball.com) reviews some NCAA rule changes for 2018 season.  One regards "catcher obstruction" at home plate.  Some may recall Wallace was called for this in a game last year.  They have also reinstated the defined runners lane line down first base.  My wife and I noticed this at the last fall game.  It had apparently been in effect 2014 and 2015.  This is to help the umpire determine if the runner interferes with ability of defensive player to catch the throw.  Also addresses some time limits during TV games and trips to mound.  One I found interesting because I believe a batter form Enterprise was called out for a violation:  No part of batters foot allowed to touch the ground outside the lines of batters box when contact is made.  The article title is "Softball Panel Approves Changes to NCAA Obstruction Rule" by Brittany Conners.  I had to scroll down the Articles section pretty far.  

Edited by slot canyon
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Here they are:

College softball: Panel approves obstruction rule change

Greg Johnson | NCAA
 
 
Last Updated - Aug 18, 2017 11:17 EDT
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The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved a rule banning defenders in softball from blocking the plate or base before they have possession of the ball, effective for the 2018 season.

The NCAA Softball Rules Committee believes this change is equitable for the base runner and the defensive team. Under the rule, a base runner will have a clear path to the base. Also, if the defender has possession of the ball and is in front of the plate or base, the runner can slide and have contact with the defensive player if the runner is making a legitimate attempt to touch the plate or base.

If a defender blocks the plate or base before gaining possession, the runner will be called safe. If the runner contacts the defensive player without making a legitimate attempt to slide, the runner will be called out.

Currently, the defender could block the plate or base while in the act of catching the ball. The rules committee felt the language was too ambiguous.

The rule change clarifies the rule and seeks to remove any gray area for plays of that nature.

Runner’s lane

The panel approved a rule requiring that the runner’s lane be drawn on the field down the first base line, reverting to the rule that was in place in 2014 and 2015.

The lane will be 3 feet wide and 30 feet long. If a runner is outside the lane and is hit by the ball, and in the judgment of the umpire interferes with the defensive player receiving the ball at first base, the runner will be declared out.

During its 2015 annual meeting, the rules committee voted to eliminate the runner’s lane as a required line on the field. However, this change inadvertently and fundamentally changed the concept of the runner’s lane.

The committee felt there is a need for the line to help umpires determine whether a runner interfered with a throw to first base, and to give the runner a clear area where she can run without penalty.

Media format

The panel approved a two-minute time limit to resume play between each half-inning in televised games.

When using the media format, teams will be allowed only seven charged conferences per seven-inning game. Each team is allowed one charged conference per half-inning for each extra inning. If a team doesn’t use all seven conferences in regulation, they do not carry over into extra innings.

Several Division I conferences experimented with a time limit between innings and restricted number of conferences during the 2017 season.

Stay in the batter’s box

The panel approved a rule prohibiting batters from having any part of their foot touch the ground outside the lines of the batter’s box when bat-ball contact is made. If a batter violates this rule, she will be declared out.

Pace and flow

The panel approved a rule prohibiting the defense from huddling after throwing the ball around the infield after an out. Several Division I conferences also experimented with this rule during the 2017 season.

Technology

The panel approved a rule allowing bats with data tracking sensors embedded into the knob to be used during the game. However, the data cannot be transmitted or accessed during the game.

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Under the new obstruction rule the catcher can be called for obstruction if she is in the base path waiting to catch the ball and the runner is nowhere near the plate.  The catcher has to be out of the baseline, catch the ball then step into the baseline to make a tag.  

The running lane rule never went away.  The NCAA said the home team didn't have to put the outside line down. The interference rule was still there but seldomly called. 

The rules to speed up the game are stupid IMO. 

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On 10/18/2017 at 5:15 PM, WarTiger said:

Stay in the batter’s box

The panel approved a rule prohibiting batters from having any part of their foot touch the ground outside the lines of the batter’s box when bat-ball contact is made. If a batter violates this rule, she will be declared out.

This one will be interesting, especially for the slappers. Previously, the batter's entire foot had to be out of the box.

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On October 23, 2017 at 10:04 PM, saminbama said:

This one will be interesting, especially for the slappers. Previously, the batter's entire foot had to be out of the box.

It will be an adjustment but most will get it right. 

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1 hour ago, around4ever said:

It will be an adjustment but most will get it right. 

I expect they will but I was curious that some of them were maybe a step toward first when the bat contacted the ball..which made it almost impossible to throw them out on the those high hops.   JMO but this will take some hits away from a number of batters when they can't get the running start..

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51 minutes ago, AU64 said:

I expect they will but I was curious that some of them were maybe a step toward first when the bat contacted the ball..which made it almost impossible to throw them out on the those high hops.   JMO but this will take some hits away from a number of batters when they can't get the running start..

Possibly.  The difference, if performed correctly will only be a few inches or the length of their foot at the most. This will amount to a fraction of a second to first base.  After the first inning, it's going to be hard for the umpire to call anyway. 

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22 hours ago, around4ever said:

 After the first inning, it's going to be hard for the umpire to call anyway. 

Your post reminds me of an incident that happened a few years ago.  ULL was hosting a regional and they were playing TAMU.  It was late in a tight game and a TAMU slapper put one down the 3rd baseline into left field.  I think it would have pushed in a run and been a double, but the plate umpire ruled the batter out, which is a dead ball putting the runners back where they started.  The problem was the front part of the box was non-existent.  There's no way the call should have been made.  Total bush league.  As an old umpire, that's one of the toughest calls to make because your eyes are looking at the pitch level and not to the ground.  If a coach is complaining, you explain that you can't call an out when you can't see the box.  If they keep complaining, you call time and have the grounds crew redraw the box, especially during a regional where the NCAA is in control.  Total bush league, which happens a lot down in Ragin Cagin country.

One thing to remember about this new rule.  It will affect more than the slappers.  How many times have you seen any hitter's foot on the line when they're swinging at a pitch.  I predict early in the season there will be a lot of batters called out on this one until they adjust.

Edited by saminbama

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