USA Softball News March Plays and Clar...

March Plays and Clarifications

March 05, 2018, 10 a.m. (ET)

March 2018 Plays and Clarifications

Junior Olympic Pool Play Batting Order:

As we get into the USA Softball Junior Olympic Fast Pitch Season the new rule regarding batting up to the whole roster has raised a few questions. We have tried to compile those questions and list them here. We hope this will answer your questions about the new rule; if not please let Director of Umpires Kevin Ryan know and we can address them on another month’s publication.

  • Q. If you do not bat everyone can anyone still be a Courtesy Runner for the Pitcher or Catcher?
  • A. The rule as amended and voted on by the USA Softball Council stated: “Any player may be used as a courtesy runner for the pitcher or catcher.” Based on this, any player on the roster may be used as a Courtesy Runner. However remember the rest of the Courtesy Runner rule would be in effect. Rule 8, Section 10 A-G with the exception to C as written.

  • Q. If you do not bat everyone can anyone still be a pinch runner for an injured player?
  • A. The amendment as written states “Any player can be used as a substitute, as a pinch runner for an injured player.” Based on this any player can be a pinch runner for an injured player.

  • Q. If you do not bat everyone or bat more than nine and lose a player due to ejection do you take an out or compress the batting order for that player? 
  • Neither. The new JO Pool Play Batting Rule allows for you to drop down to eight players in the batting order regardless of how many players you start with. However the rest of the shorthanded rule applies. If you lose a player due to ejection and have no available substitutes, you can no longer play and the game would be a forfeit regardless of how many players are left in the batting order. 

  • Q. Can an EP run for anyone in the line-up?
  • A. An EP can be a pinch runner for anyone. However our Re-entry Rule would still be in effect. The EP would be considered a substitute for the person they are running so the person who they run for and the EP running will have one more reentry. The EP is now tied to that person and can only pinch run for that person. Once they have used up their re-entry they still may bat and play defense but can no longer be a pinch runner.

  • Q. Can the EPs be listed anywhere in the batting order?
  • A. The amendment of item 17 on the New Rule proposals does not allow this. All EPs will be listed after the first 9 starters on defense.

  • Q. Can you compress the batting order when not batting all roster players due to an injury?
  • A. Yes, only if you bat more than nine and do not have any available substitutes At this time according to the amended rule proposal you can compress the line-up for an injured player.

  • Q. Can you compress the batting order when not batting all roster players due to an Ejection?
  • A. No. the 2018 Rule book is incorrect under Rule 4, Section 1D [2A Exception]. The only way a batting order can be compressed is if it is an injured player who cannot continue.

  • Q. What happens when a player runs for another player and are on base when it is their time to bat?
  • If a player is on base running and their time to bat comes up they will be removed from the base and take their turn at bat. An out will be recorded for the person for whom they are running.

  • Q. Do any rules change if a team selects to play with nine using a DP/FLEX or not using a DP/FLEX?
  • A. No, all regular USA Softball Championship Rules apply.

Plays and Clarifications

Play: F7, Jones is replaced in the second inning by Johnson playing in the outfield as F7. In the third inning B6 Johnson gets a hit and Jones re-enters to run for Johnson. In the fifth inning the offense re-enters Johnson for Jones and the umpires do not allow it. Their reason is our rules states a player may only be replaced or substituted for once. Is this correct?

Ruling: No, this is not a correct ruling. This is legal by our rule everyone can re-enter including substitutes. Rule 4, Section 5 states: Any player may be substituted for or replaced and re-entered once, provided the players occupy their same batting position in the batting order. The intent is once you are replaced and leave the game a second time you are out of the game and can no longer participate.


Play: B1 hits grounder to F1, who fields the ball and throws to F3 in time to retire B1. F3 is pulled off the bag after they made the catch and moves their glove forward extending their arm all the way out to balance themselves. Then, the ball comes out of the glove. Offensive team coach comes to base umpire and says F3 did not have control of the ball so B1 should be ruled safe. 

Ruling: Even if the ball comes loose on this play, if the umpire determines that F3 had control of the ball while on 1B then the Batter-Runner should be declared out. Rule 8, Section 2B.


Play: In a USA Softball Junior Olympic Fast Pitch Pool Play game the One hour 20 minute time limit expired at the end of the 3rd inning. The teams start the one additional inning with a runner on 2B because the game is tied after the time limit. Correct?

Ruling: This is incorrect. Our Tie-Breaker Rule, Rule 5, Section 11 states: When after the completion of seven innings of play (or time has expired in J.O. play), the score is tied, the following Tie-Breaker Rule will be played to determine a winning team. Our new time limit for Junior Olympic play is  One hour twenty minutes finish the inning and play one additional  complete inning or half inning if the home team is ahead, Rule 5, Section 10. The time limit incudes the one additional inning and the Tie-Breaker would not come into effect until after the one additional inning after the required 1 hour 20 minutes.

Obstruction / Interference:

Attached are two links to videos discussing the topic of obstruction called You Make the Call.

Click here: Video 1 | Video 2


 March Plays and Clarifications (Word)

 March Plays and Clarifications (PDF)