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Section 175 – Softball Rules

Athletic By-Laws
Sections 130-198

NFHS SOFTBALL RULES,SHALL GOVERN ALL GAMES.

  1. TAPPS rules include:
    • Live animal mascots, cannons, firearms, fireworks, etc. are prohibited at TAPPS athletic contests.
    • No dogs or other animals are allowed at TAPPS contests.
    • Except in their normal course of business, emergency vehicles shall not flash lights or sound sirens during the course of a game.
    • Noisemakers are prohibited at TAPPS events held at ­field houses and/ or gymna­siums.
    • In events held in field houses/gyms, megaphones may be used only by cheerleaders, in uniform.  Megaphones must not be used to strike walls or playing surfaces.
    • Bands, when permitted, shall play only during time-outs and intermissions. Individual instruments may not be used as noisemakers.
    • No sound systems, other than the one(s) provided by the host school are allowed at TAPPS Secured sites or at neutral sites unless mutually agreed
    • Body paint and like decoration shall not be permitted by players or spectators. (Exception: Small markings as sold by cheer or other school organization on the cheek are permitted) This rule applies to all games held at neutral sites. If a TAPPS school is not going to permit this activity at their facility, the opponent should be notified in advance of the contest.
    • Air horns and bullhorns, handheld or otherwise, are not permitted at any TAPPS contest.
    • The use of, or appearance of using, any controlled substance (alcohol, drugs,etc.) before, during or after games at contest sites is prohibited by TAPPS.
    • Streamers, confetti or other such materials.
  2. GAMES
    • All games will be for seven innings (unless tied).
    • 5 inning games or 1-1/2 hour time limit permitted by mutual consent through district play
    • The following run rules shall be in effect:
      • fifteen-run rule shall be in effect for all games
        • After three (3) innings of play, if one team is fifteen (15) or more runs ahead of its opponent, the game shall be over.
        • Or if 2 ½ innings have been completed and the home team is fifteen or more runs ahead.
      • ten-run rule shall be in effect for all games.
        • After five (5) innings of play, if one team is ten (10) or more runs ahead of its opponent, the game shall be over.
        • Or if 4 ½ innings have been completed and the home team is ten or more runs ahead.
    • In district and non-district games, if a game is called before completion of the number of innings and conditions as specified in Rule 4, Section 2, Article 3, the umpire shall declare the contest “no game.”
  3. TIE GAMES FOR DISTRICT AND NON-DISTRICT. Rule 4, Section 2, Article 3, Note 2: A regulation called game where a winner cannot be determined shall be counted as half (½) game won and half (½) game lost for each team and the game shall not be replayed.  If the game is called before the completion of the number of innings and conditions as specified in 4-2-3, the umpire shall declare the contest “no game.”  The game shall be replayed from the start when and where determined by the two schools involved.
  4. SUSPENDED GAMES IN PLAYOFFS. In playoff games past the district level, any suspended game shall be continued from the point of suspension at a later time as outlined in Rule 4-3-1.
  5. PRACTICE BALLS. Each team is responsible for its own practice balls for warm-ups in batting and infield practice.
  6. COACHING BOXES. Student players and coaches in uniform or coaching attire representing school colors or mascot, may occupy the coaching boxes.
  7. PITCHING REGULATION. The pitcher shall take a position with both feet firmly on the ground and with one or both feet in contact with, but not off the side of the pitchers plate.
  8. PREGAME WARMUP. It is recommended that batting practice be eliminated and that each team be given 10 minutes for infield and outfield workouts prior to each game.
  9. HEAD PROTECTORS. All play­ers must wear head protectors when batting and when on the base paths.
  10. COURTESY RUNNER REGULATIONS. National Federation Courtesy Runner regulations.
    • The team at bat may use courtesy runners for the pitcher and/or the catcher as soon as they reach base.  The same runner may not be used for both positions.  Neither the pitcher nor the catcher will be required to leave the game under such circumstances.
    • Players who have participated in the game in any other capacity are ineligible to serve as courtesy runners.
    • A player may not run as a courtesy runner for the pitcher or the catcher and then be used as a substitute for another player in that half inning.  Note: An unreported courtesy runner is an illegal substitute.  Penalty:  For illegal substitution, such substitute shall be ejected.
  11. COACH EJECTION PENALTY
    • See section 138.
    • ATHLETIC CODE FOR COACHES.   Informing his or her immediate supervisor the next school day after a contest if he or she was ejected from that contest for unsportsmanlike actions knowing that such conduct requires automatic penalty.
  12. RAIN (BAD WEATHER) POLICY FOR SOFTBALL PLAYOFFS. (See TAPPS Weather Guidelines in Section 138)Teams may not play after the deadline for determining a district representative unless the following conditions are met:
    • Every effort must be made by both teams to determine the winner before the deadline.
    • If weather conditions make this impossible, then permission must be obtained from the potential next round opponents (or opponent).  Example: District 1 winner and 2 runner-up find they cannot get their playoff decided by the deadline.  They must obtain permission from District 3 winner and 4 runner-up representatives to play after the deadline.  (Or just District 3 winner, if District 3 has already defeated District 4 runner-up in their respective playoff game.)
      • If the teams or team involved in District 3 winner and 4 runner-up fail to give approval, then District 1 winner and 2 runner-up will have to determine a representative before the deadline specified in the softball playoff procedures.
      • Extreme scheduling difficulties such as those mentioned above could result in a coin flip determining the representative to the next round.
    • Every effort must be made to get the representative decided on time.  This includes obtaining neutral sites and scrambling for any available field.  This could mean giving up a home field advantage if another field is playable.
    • In single elimination playoffs a team deciding a round after the deadline with the approval of the next round opponents will have to play on the date specified by the next round opponent.
  13. See Section 134
  14. PLAY-OFF GAMES. The first round of play-off games will be bi-district games, if more than eight teams qualify for the play-offs. If eight or less teams qualify, the first round shall be regional games.
  15. SITE OF BI-DISTRICT AND REGIONAL. Unless mutually agreed otherwise, bi-district/regional games shall  be played at the site indicated in Section
  16. RESPONSIBLE FOR ARRANGEMENTS. The two teams involved shall be responsible for all arrangements for the game and shall pay all expenses.
  17. GATE RECEIPTS.
    • Admission for Bi-district, Area and Regional games based on mutual agreement of teams involved
    • Gate receipts, after expenses shall be divided between the two schools, unless otherwise agreed before the game is played.
  18. REPORTING SCORES
    • The winning coach shall report playoff scores in TAPPSter as soon as possible after the conclusion of the contest.
    • Coach shall enter the next playoff contest information in TAPPSter as soon as game information is concerned.
  19. ROSTERS.  Team rosters of play-off qualifiers must be in the TAPPS STATE OFFICE by the deadline shown on the TAPPS calendar to be assured of being included in the state tournament programs.
  20. STATE PLAY-OFF FORMAT.
    • Softball play-offs are single elimination.
    • Admission for State shall be determined by TAPPS
    • NATIONAL FEDERATION RULES SHALL APPLY, unless otherwise noted in the TAPPS manual.
    • Time Limit.  Time limit must be agreed upon prior to the game in the bi-district/regional rounds. There is NO TIME LIMIT in State Tournament Games.
    • Run rule. Ten (10) run rule after 4 ½ or 5 innings.
    • Three umpires per game shall be used in State Tournament (see Officials).
    • Home team designations shall be determined by a coin flip in play-off games on neutral fields, unless mutually agreed otherwise.
    • Softballs.  Appropriate softballs, as described in Rule 1, Sec. 3, Art. 4 of the National Federation Rule Book shall be used. At the play-off games, each school shall provide four (4) new WILSON A9011BSST or A9016BSST softballs, with each team retaining their own balls following the game. WILSON SPORTING GOODS will provide the softballs for the State Finals.
    • In SOFTBALL  Final Four Games,
      • BATTING ORDER will be determined by coin flip prior to the game.
      • DUGOUT assignment shall be made by TAPPS.
      • BATTING CAGE times will be assigned prior to Final Four games.
  21. AWARDS AT STATE TOURNAMENT.
    • Plaques shall be awarded as follows:
      • State Champion
      • State Runner-up
      • Final Four plaque to each team eliminated in semi-final game.
    • Individual State Champion Medallions for Players on program roster, up to 25
    • Individual State Runner-up Medallions for Players on program roster, up to 25
    • Individual State Final Four Medallions for Players on program roster, up to 25
    • Champion, Runner-up, and Final Four teams may purchase additional medallions from the TAPPS State office for $10.00 each.