NFHS Softball Rules Central


Hit Batter (8-1-2b c Pen 1)


If a ptiched ball is entirely within the batter box and it strikes the batter or her clothing, and the batter makes no attempt to avoid being hit by the pitch, the ball is dead and the batter is entitled to one base without liability to be put out. However the batter may not obviously try to get hit by the pitch. In that case, the umpire will call "dead ball" and a ball on the batter.

Under an NFHS rule change, the batters no longer have to make an attempt to avoid being hit by a ptich if a pitched ball contacts a batter entirely within the batter box.


Illegal Pitch (6-1-1 Except.)


The "exception" to rule 6-1-1 has been clarified to give the offense another option in the event the batter becomes a baserunner without hitting an illegal pitch. The previous exception stated that if "the batter hits the ball fair or foul, or becomes a baserunner, the coach of the team at bat shall have the option of the result of the play or the penalty for an illegal pitch." The exception did not address if the ball is not hit fair or foul.
Under the new rule, if the batter reaches first base safely and each other runner advances at least one base, the illegal pitch is nullified. All action stands and the illegal pitch is canceled. If the batter does not reach first base safely or if any baserunner fails to advance at least one base, the coach of the team at bat shall have the option of the result of the play or the penalty fo the illegal ptich. If the batter is hit by an illegal pitch out of the strike zone, the batter is awarded first base and each baserunner is awarded one base. If ball four is an illegal pitch, the batter is awarded first base and each baserunner is awarded one base.

Stopwatches (3-6-10)

NFHS has decided to allow coaches to use stopwatches, along with any scorekeeping materials/devices while in the coaching box.

Optic Marking (1-4-1b, 1c)

As a follow up to the change last year (2012) that required the color of all softballs to be optic yellow, NFHS revised the language in rule 1-4-1 to state that gloves/mitts must not be entirely optic yellow or have that color of marking on the inside or outside of gloves/mitts that would give the appearance of the ball.

Points of Emphasis (POE)


Home Run (over the fence) Celebration

For the celebration by all team members coming onto the field after a home run, NFHS wants the plate umpire to keep team members between home plate and their dugout/bench area to allow all base runners and the batter-runner to contact the plate before engaging in the celebration.

Encouragement & Education of the DP/Flex Rule

NFHS feels the overall impact of the rule has been positive, however there still remains some confusion/challenges with the understanding of the rule. For further assistance please see the NFHS website at www.nfhs.org and the NFHS 2013 Softball Rules Book.

Hit Batter Case Plays

Play 1: A pitched ball touches the ground in front of the plate and then hits B1, who makes no attempt to avoid getting hit by the ball that is completely in the batter box. Ruling 1: B1 entitled to first base.
Play 2: B1 quickly moves her knee into a pitched ball that is entirely in the batter box. Ruling 2: If, in the judgment of the plate umpire, B1 obviously tried to get hit by the pitch, the umpire should call "dead ball" and a ball on B1.




Illegal Pitch Case Plays

Play 3: R1 is on first base with two outs and a 1-2 count on B2. R1 legally leaves first in an attempt to steal second base as the plat umpire calls an illegal pitch on F1. B2 swings and misses the ball, which gets past the catcher. R1 advances to third base and B2 is safe at first base. Ruling 3: All action stands and the illegal pitch is canceled because the batter reached first base safely and R1 advanced at least one base.
Play 4: R2 is on second base with one out and a 1-1 count on B3. R2 legally leaves second in an attempt to steal third base as the base umpire calls an illegal pitch on F1. The pitched ball gets past the catcher, whose throw gets past F1 as R2 advances to score at home. Ruling 4: The coach of th team at bat has the option of the result of the play or the illegal pitch penalty.