NCAA to Experiment with Three New Softball Rules

National Scouting Report is your reliable, accurate source for NCAA rules. Today we will cover three new softball rules.

This season the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, PAC-12 and Southeastern conferences are mandated to experiment with three new pace-of-play rules during conference play, but only during the regular season. All other conferences, regardless of division, may apply to use the rules.

Following the season, participating conferences will be required to submit statistics to determine if the rules had an impact on their games’ pace. Here are the new rules:

  1. Restricting the number of charged conferences, either offensive or defensive, to six per team. Teams may use two conferences per inning (one offensive and one defensive). Each team is allowed one conference, offensive or defensive, for each extra inning.

  2. Defensive teams will not be allowed to huddle at the pitcher’s mound after an out. Teams will still be allowed to throw the ball around the infield, but the ball must then be thrown directly to the pitcher.

  3. Teams will have 90 seconds between innings before they are required to be ready to resume play. When the last defensive player crosses the foul line closest to her dugout, the third base umpire, or base umpire in a two-person crew, will start the time using a stopwatch. During the 90 seconds, the pitcher is allowed an unlimited number of warmup pitches. With 30 seconds left, the base umpire will announce how much time is left to the dugouts. When the 90 seconds has expired, the defensive team must be in position to start, including the pitcher in position to throw a pitch, and the offensive team must have its batter in the box ready for the first pitch.

The experimental rules do not include post-season play, however, instead, it has been recommended that “the Division I, II or III Softball Committees interested in requesting permission to use the experimental rules during NCAA postseason go through the Division I Competition Oversight Committee, the Division II Championships Committee or the Division III Championships Committee,” according to an NCAA press release.

NSR Note: NSR has a full-time NCAA compliance officer on staff to keep scouts and prospects updated on any rule changes in all three divisions as well as the NAIA.  The rules above all have penalties attached.  To get more info on these specific rules, contact the NSR scout near you.  

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