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Stephen

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The NCAA Softball Rules Committee has recommended a proposal banning defenders from blocking the plate or base before they have possession of the ball, effective for the 2018 season.

The committee, which met last week in Indianapolis, believes this possible rule change would be equitable for the base runner and the defensive team. If approved, the 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 would be called safe. If the runner contacts the defensive player without making a legitimate attempt to slide, the runner will be called out.

All rules recommendations must be approved by the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel, which is scheduled to discuss softball proposals Aug. 16.

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

The proposal seeks to clarify the rule and remove any gray area on those types of plays.

“As a committee, we are always looking at ways to improve the quality of the game,” said Rich Calvert, committee chair and coach at Drake. “One of the bigger proposed rules changes is obstruction. While this is always going to be a judgment call, we felt that by making the defender have possession of the ball before blocking the base, plate — or in the base path — it makes it a little clearer whether the defender is obstructing the runner.”

Runner’s lane

The committee recommended that the runner’s lane be drawn on the field down the first base line, reverting to the rule in the 2014-15 rules book.

The lane would be three 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 the 2015 annual meeting, the 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

Committee members recommended 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 of its 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 box

The committee proposed requiring hitters to have any part of both feet touching the ground inside the lines of the batter’s box when bat-ball contact is made.

A hitter who makes contact with a pitch with any part of her foot touching the ground outside the lines of the batter’s box will be declared out.

Committee members have seen a trend of many hitters being outside the box when contact is made with pitches.

Pace and flow

To increase the pace and flow of the game, the committee recommended allowing coaches to make defensive substitutions that involve only position changes and do not affect the batting lineup without reporting this change to the umpire.

Additionally, the committee recommended that coaches be allowed to make projected substitutions by notifying the plate umpire any time the ball is dead. Substitutes will not be required to enter the game at the time the substitution is reported. This will allow coaches to report more than one change at the beginning of the inning or to re-enter the designated player before her next at bat.

The committee also recommended 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 committee recommended 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.

EarlyGrayce

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Very interesting.



"Technology

The committee recommended 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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3leftturns

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No instant replay? There is some Title IX inequity for you.

Corrupt CLOWNS!
outofzone

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And nothing about Illegal Pitches either
3leftturns

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Confederacy of dunces
SmileyAnders

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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3leftturns
No instant replay? There is some Title IX inequity for you.

Corrupt CLOWNS!

The (mis)use of instant replay was pretty prevalent in the CWS as well. 
3leftturns

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I didn't watch that terminal crapola, but there were a handful that are easy overturns in OKC
redbirdone

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Quote:
Originally Posted by outofzone
And nothing about Illegal Pitches either


This times infinity!!!!

redbirdone

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen

 

Stay in the box

The committee proposed requiring hitters to have any part of both feet touching the ground inside the lines of the batter’s box when bat-ball contact is made.

A hitter who makes contact with a pitch with any part of her foot touching the ground outside the lines of the batter’s box will be declared out.

Committee members have seen a trend of many hitters being outside the box when contact is made with pitches.



Can someone please please please explain this to me.  I always thought that as long as part of the foot was touching chalk, you were okay. The way this reads, if your toe is over the chalk you are out.  Am I wrong in my interpretation?  And how is it going to be enforced when the batter's box lines are pretty much gone by the 2nd or 3rd inning.  

3leftturns

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rich.calvert@drake.edu
3leftturns

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Quote:
Originally Posted by redbirdone


Can someone please please please explain this to me.  I always thought that as long as part of the foot was touching chalk, you were okay. The way this reads, if your toe is over the chalk you are out.  Am I wrong in my interpretation?  And how is it going to be enforced when the batter's box lines are pretty much gone by the 2nd or 3rd inning.  


It could decimate the slap game... for sure

Not that there is much of a slap game left ... certainly on the top shelf
1janiedough

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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3leftturns
Confederacy of dunces



GREAT book!
3leftturns

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That title always jumped out at me at my dad's old bookstore
PH2

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Quote:
Originally Posted by redbirdone


Can someone please please please explain this to me.  I always thought that as long as part of the foot was touching chalk, you were okay. The way this reads, if your toe is over the chalk you are out.  Am I wrong in my interpretation?  And how is it going to be enforced when the batter's box lines are pretty much gone by the 2nd or 3rd inning.  


It makes no sense as written.  The first two sentences contradict themselves.
3leftturns

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Contradictory?

I would like to see the word entirety in the first sentence instead of 'any'... but I am inferring that that is what the first sentence is saying
PH2

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The explanation should be full and not broken into 2 separate sentences.  The first sentence only makes illegal not having part of both feet inside the box.
3leftturns

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Quote:
Originally Posted by PH2
The first sentence only makes illegal not having part of both feet inside the box.
any part of both feet needs to be inside the box at contact.

It's clunky. But not contradictory IMO
ChinMusic

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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3leftturns
any part of both feet needs to be inside the box at contact.

It's clunky. But not contradictory IMO


Stay in the box

The committee proposed requiring hitters to have any part of both feet touching the ground inside the lines of the batter’s box when bat-ball contact is made.

A hitter who makes contact with a pitch with any part of her foot touching the ground outside the lines of the batter’s box will be declared out.

Committee members have seen a trend of many hitters being outside the box when contact is made with pitches.

The first and second sentences are DEFINITELY contradictory.  If a player's foot is on the line with heel inside the lines and toes outside the line what is the call?

One of those sentence needs to say "ALL of her foot".


MadDogsDad

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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3leftturns
any part of both feet needs to be inside the box at contact.

It's clunky. But not contradictory IMO


The committee proposed requiring hitters to have any part of both feet touching the ground inside the lines of the batter’s box when bat-ball contact is made.


That to me means that some part of both feet can be outside of the box at contact. Then the next line says....


A hitter who makes contact with a pitch with any part of her foot touching the ground outside the lines of the batter’s box will be declared out.

That says any part of the foot is out of the box and the batter is out.


Is that not contradictory?

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Softball_rules5

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Let's just make the women's game like the men's game and take the speed element out. That's what separated softball from baseball.
PH2

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Quote:
Originally Posted by MadDogsDad
The committee proposed requiring hitters to have any part of both feet touching the ground inside the lines of the batter’s box when bat-ball contact is made. That to me means that some part of both feet can be outside of the box at contact. Then the next line says.... A hitter who makes contact with a pitch with any part of her foot touching the ground outside the lines of the batter’s box will be declared out. That says any part of the foot is out of the box and the batter is out. Is that not contradictory?


Exactly.

What I think they are trying to say should have been said in one sentence, with the second sentence being the lead piece of this.  If what they're saying is that the batter can't touch the ball with any part of their foot touching outside the batter's box, THAT is what matters.  It's almost impossible to keep any part of your feet from being outside the batter's box AND not be touching the inside of the box - short of some sort of tightrope walk along the chalk!  They've lead with the inconsequential piece of this, which is confusing.
Kurosawa

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Quote:
Originally Posted by redbirdone


Can someone please please please explain this to me.  I always thought that as long as part of the foot was touching chalk, you were okay. The way this reads, if your toe is over the chalk you are out.  Am I wrong in my interpretation?  And how is it going to be enforced when the batter's box lines are pretty much gone by the 2nd or 3rd inning.  


Contradictions in the rules is nothing new - just look at the leaping/crowhopping rules. It allows not only the smudging of the lines, but of the rules as well.

I'm assuming the umps will have the authority to call for the batter's box lines to be redrawn between innings - but will they?
Stretch

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Excellent opportunity to "squeeze" the batter by using a wider spray pattern for the batter's box lines. [crazy]
3leftturns

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Quote:
Originally Posted by MadDogsDad
The committee proposed requiring hitters to have any part of both feet touching the ground inside the lines of the batter’s box when bat-ball contact is made. That to me means that some part of both feet can be outside of the box at contact. Then the next line says.... A hitter who makes contact with a pitch with any part of her foot touching the ground outside the lines of the batter’s box will be declared out. That says any part of the foot is out of the box and the batter is out. Is that not contradictory?
Not to me.

In neither sentence does it say that any part of either foot can be OUTSIDE the box

To me, it is commensurate with them writing, 'Each person in the group must be at least 18 years old to enter the club' as opposed to 'All people in the group must be at least 18 years old to enter the club'

I agreed with you all to the extent that it is ridiculously clunky and confusing.

Just not contradictory
ChinMusic

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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3leftturns
Not to me.

In neither sentence does it say that any part of either foot can be OUTSIDE the box



So answer my question.  Batter is standing with one foot on the line.  Heel is inside the line, toes are outside. Base hit.  What's the call?
MadDogsDad

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Reply with quote  #26 
The first line says that hitters are required to have ANY part of their foot inside the box.

I could argue that any part of both feet can be outside the box at contact as long as any part of both feet are inside the box.

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3leftturns

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There is a part of a foot not inside the box. Clearly an out in that rule rewrite.

Clearly
3leftturns

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Quote:
Originally Posted by MadDogsDad
The first line says that hitters are required to have ANY part of their foot inside the box. I could argue that any part of both feet can be outside the box at contact as long as any part of both feet are inside the box.
Not successfully, you couldn't. Based on what is written.

There is not a syllable that says that you can have any part of the foot outside the box.

I'll give you that the second line CLARIFIES the first.

A rule written as dunderheadedly as you would expect by a group that is not implementing instant replay in the Sweet 16 and onward

And, if they are not ruling that replants are now legal, they better start calling that crap
MadDogsDad

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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3leftturns
Not to me.

In neither sentence does it say that any part of either foot can be OUTSIDE the box

To me, it is commensurate with them writing, 'Each person in the group must be at least 18 years old to enter the club' as opposed to 'All people in the group must be at least 18 years old to enter the club'

I agreed with you all to the extent that it is ridiculously clunky and confusing.

Just not contradictory


No it is like say any members of a group must be 18 when you meant to say all members of a group.

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MadDogsDad

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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3leftturns
Not successfully, you couldn't. Based on what is written.

There is not a syllable that says that you can have any part of the foot outside the box.


We are talking about the first line right?

if the heel is part of the foot and the heel is in the box, then any part of that foot is in the box.

Based on what is written, there is not a syllable that says you have to have the whole foot inside the box.

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