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2020 – NFHS Softball Rule Changes

1-5-1e, 2-4, 2-4-3, 7-4-2 PENALTY NOTE: Damaged bats are defined. Rationale: Clarifies that a damaged bat is removed from the game without penalty.
1-5-1c, d, e, 2-4-3, 7-4-2: Added language to give a clear definition of a damaged bat separating it from illegal and altered bats. Damaged bats are not to be considered illegal bats, therefore they do not carry the same penalty as illegal bats.  Damaged bats should be removed from the game without penalty. Language added additional certification marking (USA Softball All Games mark) to update current legal marks.
6-1-1: Prior to starting the delivery (pitch), the pitcher shall take a position with the pivot foot in contact with the pitcher's plate. Rationale: Clarifies that the pivot foot must be in contact with the pitcher’s plate, rather than on the top surface of the pitcher’s plate.
6-1-1: Clarifies that any part of the pivot foot is in contact with the pitcher’s plate is legal and no longer limits the pivot foot to contacting just the top surface of the pitcher’s plate, which reflects current practice.
9-1-1 EXCEPTION c: A run is not scored if the runner advances to home plate during action in which the third out is made by the preceding runner who is declared out on an appeal play. Rationale: Clarifies that on any appeal play, a run is not scored if the third out is made by a preceding runner.
9-1-1 EXCEPTION c: Added language to make clear that if a preceding runner is called out on appeal, subsequent runner(s) that cross the plate do not count as run(s) scored.


1-1-7: Clarifies that game management or a state administrator may establish a dead-ball media area within the confines of the field, but that area will remain a dead-ball area throughout the game. 1-5-1d: Updates to add the new USA Softball All Games certification mark. 8-4-3d PENALTY: Clarifies that the batter-runner, not the batter is awarded bases when a fielder intentionally contacts the ball with detached equipment.  


1-2-3, 2-22-4, 2-57-3, 3-4-1c, 7-1-2 PENALTY 2  


  1. Bat certification marks and USA Softball’s list of Non-Approved Bats with Certification Marks
  2. Damaged bat vs. illegal bat penalties
  3. Contact with the pitcher’s plate 4. Inspection of equipment
  Reference Link(s): https://nfhs.org/sports-resource-content/softball-comments-on-the-rules-2020/, https://www.nfhs.org/sports-resource-content/softball-rules-changes-2020/

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