College Softball Considers Double First Base

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The NCAA Softball Rules Committee during its virtual meeting last week proposed the use of a double first base on an experimental basis for the 2022-23 academic year.

The double first base would allow the fielder to use half the base and the batter-runner to use the other half.

Both teams would have to agree to use the double first base during regular-season spring games or fall competitions played in the nontraditional season. Base specifications and specific rules on how to use the base will be included later as part of the experimental rule.

Schools that choose to use this experimental rule must submit a waiver request and collect specific data points that will be outlined by the rules committee.

All rule proposals must be approved by the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel, which is scheduled to discuss softball recommendations Aug. 11.

Fence padding

The committee proposed that all sideline and home run fences constructed of wood, concrete or brick be padded by Jan. 1, 2027. Padding must begin not higher than 1 foot off the ground and extend to the top of the wood, concrete or brick or 6 feet from the ground, whichever is shorter. Currently, padding is strongly recommended for fences made of wood, concrete and brick and is a requirement for backstops constructed of those materials.

The delayed implementation was recommended due to the costs associated with this proposal.

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