03/08/17 – Experimental Rule Implemented for KHSAA Softball Games

March 8, 2017 Softball Blog Updates

All fastpitch softball games in all games played by KHSAA member schools (in Kentucky), will utilize an experimental rule regarding the issuance of a base on balls. For all games played in Kentucky, the defensive coach, pitcher or catcher may request to the umpire that an intentional walk be issued without having to throw any pitches. The request can be made at any point in the count on a given batter. 

Umpires, this experiment involves altering Rule 2-65-2, 7-1-2 (PENALTY) and 8-1-1c.

As requested by unanimous consensus of the Commissioner’s Softball Advisory Committee, an intentional base on balls may be given by the defensive team upon request of the pitcher, catcher or coach. This may be done before pitching to the batter or on any ball and strike count. The ball shall be declared dead before making the award.

In committee discussion, the members are aware that there is more awareness each year of the need to minimize needless pitches being thrown and from a strategic standpoint, the mandatory throwing of the pitches is unnecessary. This rule has a reasonable chance of passing the committee as a regular proposal, is an enhancement to player health and safety, and improves the efficiency of game management.

Member school coaches will be asked to participate in a survey near the end of the season in order that data may be collected regarding the experiment and forwarded to the NFHS Softball Rules Committee.

Please refer questions to Assistant Commissioner Darren Bilberry (dbilberry@khsaa.org) at the KHSAA.