WIAA and NFHS Announce Softball Rules Changes for 2022

Softball Rules Changes – 2022

1-2-1: Clarifies bases may be designed to disengage from their anchor system.
Rationale: This change places rule language with other regulations covering the field and its equipment.

1-3-3: Aligns ball tolerance specifications with other rule codes.
Rationale: Balls manufactured with the former specifications will be permitted through 2024, to allow for manufacturers and schools to reduce current inventory. The new ball specifications are permitted for use during the 2021-22 season and will be required by January 1, 2025.

3-2-5b: Removes the language prohibiting hard items to control the hair in the sport of softball.
Rationale: Clarifies adornments such as beads can be worn in the hair and aligns language with other NFHS rules codes.

3-2-5c: Permits players to wear soft and secure headwear for religious purposes without prior state association approval.
Rationale: Eliminates the need for authorization from the state associations for religious headwear.

3-5-3: When in live ball areas, a coach shall be attired in a school uniform or jersey/coaching shirt with slacks, shorts, or other leg coverings in school colors or colors of khaki, black, white or gray.
Rationale: Updated language clarifies items which can be worn by coaches in a live-ball area.

3-6-21 & PENALTY: Establishes the penalty when a damaged bat that was previously removed is re-introduced into the game.
Rationale: The penalty outlines protocol for dealing with situations in which a damaged bat is removed, then re-introduced to the game.

6-2-2 & NOTE: Removes language from Rule 6-2-2 and places it as a NOTE under the PENALTY.
Rationale: The language and rule reference is a reminder to players, coaches and officials about distracting items worn by the pitcher, but is not a part of Rule 6-2-2.

8-2-6: Clarifies a runner is considered outside the running lane when either foot last contacting the ground completely outside the lane.
Rationale: New language more adequately describes the intent of the rule and will provide more consistent enforcement.

2022 SOFTBALL EDITORIAL CHANGES
2-4-3, 2-37, 2-38-2, 2-38-3, 2-38-4, 3-2-12, 3-7-1 NOTE, 4-2-3 NOTE 2, 5-1 Dead Ball Table, 7-3-1, 7-4-2 NOTE, 7-4-6, 7-4-7, 7-4-15 NEW, 7-5-4 PENALTY 1, 9-5 EXCEPTION 1 and 3

SOFTBALL POINTS OF EMPHASIS

  1. Huddles Between Innings
  2. Guidance for Pitcher Utilization
  3. Assisting A Runner
  4. Simulating Taking a Sign

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David Keech
Author: David Keech

David Keech is a math teacher in Wisconsin Rapids and public address announcer for Abbotsord High School. He officiates basketball, baseball, and softball in central Wisconsin. He has reported on amateur sports since 2011, known as 'KeechDaVoice.' David can be reached at [email protected]