USA Softball News July 2015 Plays and ...

July 2015 Plays and Clarifications

July 16, 2015, 1:16 p.m. (ET)

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Comments from the National Umpire Staff:

With the start of the 2015 Junior Olympic National Championships in less than two weeks it is important that we clarify some rulings that have been misapplied, and / or changed due to review process. Below we address allowed substances in our game of Fats Pitch, the issue of Chrome or reflective mirror helmets, the new Junior Olympic Rule of batting all rostered players during Pool Play, our Bat Testing Procedure at National Championships and  what the result is if you use an untested or non-hologram bat  during a National Championship. Below are several examples


It has been brought to our attention that some umpires may not be allowing an approved drying agent by the pitch in Junior Olympic Fast Pitch. Our rule for all Fast Pitch reads:

Rule 6A Section 6A: A defensive player shall not, at any time during the game, be allowed to use any foreign substance upon the ball, pitching hand or fingers. Under the supervision and control of the umpire, powder resin and/or an  approved drying agent that is included on the list published by the ASA may be used by the pitcher. The resin must be left on the ground and the approved drying agent in the pitcher’s pocket. A pitcher who licks their fingers must wipe the fingers off before bringing them in contact with the ball.

Effect: Illegal pitch. After the first offense, if any defensive player continues to place a foreign substance on the ball, that player shall be ejected from the game. If any other substance is found in the pitcher’s pocket, the pitcher shall be ejected.


1 If the batter hits the ball and reaches first base safely, and if all other runners have advanced at least one base on the batted ball, the illegal pitch is nullified. All action as a result of the batted ball stands. No option is given. When a runner passes a base, the runner is considered to have touched that base.

2 Otherwise, the manager has the option to take the result of the play, or the illegal pitch is enforced by awarding a ball to the batter and advancing all runners one base.

3 If an illegal pitch hits the batter out of the strike

The only approved drying agent we have is listed on the Certified Equipment page on the ASA website. Click on Foreign Substance and Protective Wraps and you will see the only approved drying agent is  Gorilla Gold Grip Enhancer. Pitchers are allowed to have the Gorilla Gold drying agent in their back pocket and used during the game to help keep their hands dry. The cloth can be hanging out of their pocket as long as it is in a position to stay in the pocket.

Chrome / Mirrored Style Batting Helmet:



The Chrome / Mirrored Batting helmet has been ruled Illegal by ASA Rule 3 Section 7A: Notwithstanding the foregoing, the ASA reserves the right to withhold or withdraw approval of any equipment which, in the ASA’s sole determination, significantly changes the character of the game, affects the safety of participants or spectators, or renders a player’s performance more a product of the player’s equipment rather than the player’s individual skill.

Please be aware that this helmet is illegal and work with teams to make sure they are not wearing these helmets in Championship Play.

Batting all Rostered Players in Junior Olympic Pool Play

Last year the ASA/USA Council passed a new rule for 2015 allowing for up to all players on the roster present to be able to bat in all Junior Olympic Classifications of Play during Pool Play. The rule passed added a clause for how the Shorthanded Rule would be handled.  The new rules as listed in the 2015 ASA Participant Manual reads as follows:

Rule 4, Section 1D[2A] Exception: In all Junior Olympic Fast Pitch Pool Play Only; When a team elects to bat more than nine batters the game will continue with the skipped batter being recorded as an out whenever a player leaves the game for any reason other than an ejection. Teams cannot play with less than 8 players.

Rule 7 Section 2F:  (Fast Pitch) In Junior Olympic Pool Play only, teams have the option of having up to all players on the roster present bat. The Shorthanded Rule that applies to Junior Olympic Fast Pitch will apply. Rule 4, Section 1 [a-d] and 2 [a-g] Exception

Based on the intent of the new rule and combined with the current rules governing players and substitutes, we have revised the way the batting of up to all roster players in Junior Olympic Fast Pitch Pool Play will be handled.   The following are the main components of properly using this rule:


A.  The first nine players listed will have their number and defensive position listed on the line-up card with the exception of the DP (if used), who will just be listed as “DP”. (i.e. Steve Roscia, #12 LF)

B.  Those who will be listed next will be listed as “EP” (Extra Player), and will be governed by the Extra Player Rule.  (Rule 4, Section 4 A-D). They will hit and will eligible to play defense.  Note* “Any nine can play defense when not using a flex or have dropped down from using a flex” and any eight can play defense when using a flex.

C.  If the DP/Flex is used, the Flex will be listed LAST on the line-up card immediately following the final “EP”.  All other provisions of the DP/Flex Rule, (Rule 4, Section 3 A-I), will be in effect.

D.  The only players that are allowed to be a substitute, (i.e. pitch run, pitch hit), for anyone in the starting line-up are those players who are not listed in the starting line-up but listed as substitutes on that same line-up card. The Re-Entry and Substitution Rules will apply. (Rule 6, Section 5 A-C – Re-entry) and (Rule 4, Section 6 A-F – Substitutes and Illegal Player)

E.  The only players that are allowed to be a Courtesy Runner for Pitcher and Catcher are those players who are not listed in the starting line-up but listed as substitutes on that same line-up card and have not yet participated in the game. The Courtesy Runner Rule will apply. (Rule 8, Section 10 A-G – Courtesy Runner).

NOTES:  These are items that pertain to the Rule:

  •     Batting Order:  All players on the roster up to the total amount of players present on the roster may bat. Whatever number you start with must remain the same unless you lose players as mentioned in the rule. EXAMPLE: If you start with 12 batters you cannot increase to 13 batters or decrease to 11 batters.
  •     Shorthanded Rule: When a team elects to bat more than nine batters the game will continue with the skipped batter being recorded as an out whenever a player leaves the game for any reason other than an ejection. Teams cannot play with less than 8 players. If a team loses a player from the batting order due to an ejection the game would end in a forfeit. EXAMPLE: If a team bat’s 15 and all they have are 15, no subs, and they lose one batter due to ejection, the game would end in a forfeit.
  •     When using a DP/FLEX: If a team uses the DP/FLEX rule the flex will still be listed at

the end of the batting order. If a team decides to bat the FLEX they may do so. However, the FLEX may only bat for the DP in the DP’s batting position. Then DP would be then considered out of the game and may re-enter one time. EXAMPLE: A team is batting 12 and using the DP/FLEX. They would list their 12 batters with the DP being in one of the first nine positions and the FLEX listed in the 13th spot.

  •     Courtesy Runner: No player starting in the batting order may be used as a Courtesy Runner for the pitcher and or catcher. In order to be a Courtesy Runner a player cannot have participated in the game in any fashion. EXAMPLE: If a team has 15 players and wants two Courtesy Runners they can only bat 13 players.  .

National Championship Bat Testing Procedure


I.      Specify a time and a place for check in

II.      Create a numbered log that includes player name, team, phone number and bat description.

III.      Have numbered stickers or tickets  that match numbers on log that you can place on the bat if taken

IV.      Copy of the Non-Approved bats with  ASA Certification Marks

V.      Containers available to hold confiscated bats

Check In Procedures

I.      Championship UIC or designated Umpires will check the bats for

  •     Check Carefully for Rule 3 Sections 1

o  Cracks

o  Dents

o  Rattles

o  Signs of excessive wear

  •     Make sure you have a printed copy of the non-approved bats with ASA Certification Marks with you.
  •     Make sure if the bat has an ASA Certification Mark it is not on the Non

Approved bats with ASA Certification marks.

  •     The ASA Certification Mark must be on the bat for it to be a legal bat. If you can see one letter of the ASA Certification Mark it verifies the mark is present.
  •     If the bats pass Rule 3 Section 1 inspection it should then be tested on a

WSU SSL Compression Bat Tester.

  •     If the bats fail Rule 3 Section 1 at bat testing give the bat back to the player and tell them not to use it because it does not have a Hologram on it.

II.      Have bat checked by a WSU SSL  Compression Bat Tester

  •     Make sure the bat passes at the prescribed pressure

ü   Fast Pitch Bats must be over 1550 PSI

ü   Slow Pitch Bats must be over 1450 PSI

  •     Non Linear bats must be over the prescribed PSI list on the ASA Website under Non-linear Bats.

III.     Bats can be checked periodically during the Championship for Rule 3 and or the compression tester. If the bat fails the compression tester during the Championship or does not meet Rule 3 Section 1 during the umpires review on the field:

  •     Give the bat to the UIC or representative of the UIC
  •     Mark the bat with a ticket and give the owner a corresponding ticket.
    •     The ticket must be presented in order to pick up the bat once the team is eliminated from the Championship.
    •     This is the same procedure we have used for years when checking bats.

IV.     If bat passes the compression test put a ASA approved Hologram on the bat and return the bat to the player or coach

V.      If the bat fails the compression tester:

  •     Return the bat to the owner and do not put a hologram on it.
  •     Explain to the owner the repercussions if they use the bat in a game.
    •     Make sure to cover that all bats used in the game must have a hologram at the coaches meeting.
    •     Reiterate the issue at the coaches meeting at home plate.

VI.     If the Championship committee feels a bat has been altered with they can keep that bat and send the bat to the ASA National Office for further examination under ASA Code 310 n 08

VII.      If a bat is confiscated follow the published Bat Confiscation Bat Procedure


Bats used at National Championships that are discovered not to have a Hologram on them

This is the first year we will test all bats at all National Championships. The question has come up about the procedure to be used if a batter uses a bat without a Hologram on it. We should follow the same procedure in both Fast Pitch and Slow Pitch National Championships. The bat would be considered an Illegal Bat.

  •     If the bat is discovered before the batter get in the batter’s box we would take the bat as we would a bat taken by the umpires, test it and hologram it if it passes and give it back. If it does not keep it as we have when umpires take bats during the inspections.
  •     If the batter is in the box when it is discovered the bat does not have a hologram on it, we would enforce the Illegal Bat Rule,  Rule 7 Section 6D When the batter enters the batter’s box with or is discovered using an Illegal bat.

Effect: The batter is out.

  •     If discovered after their turn at bat and before the next pitch,  Rule 7 Section 6E: When discovered using an Illegal bat after completing their turn at bat and before the next pitch, legal or illegal.


1. The batter is out.

2. All outs stand.

3. All other runners return to the base occupied at the time of the pitch.

Note - Section 6B-E: If a previous batter has used the same Altered, Non-Approved or

Illegal bat and a pitch, legal or illegal, has been thrown, the current batter is out.

  •     If discovered after a pitch, All action stands. Take the bat as we would in the first bullet point.