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Lebanon County Girls Fastpitch League  

Rule Changes for ASA 2002

ASA Rule Changes: (As taken from the ASA page)

Rule 1, FAIR BALL.
Add the underlined portion to definition: A batted ball shall be judged according to the relative position of the ball and the foul line, including the foul pole, and not as to whether the fielder is on fair or foul territory at the time the fielder touches the ball. It does not matter whether the ball first touches fair or foul territory, as long as it does not touch anything foreign to the natural ground in foul territory and complies with all other aspects of a fair ball. Detached equipment discarded by the offense or defense over fair territory becomes part of the ground and has no effect in determining fair/foul status when a batted ball initiates contact with the equipment (as long as it was not an intentional act by the player to contact the ball).
COMMENTS: This proposal was approved under “foul ball”, however as submitted, it would require the umpire to declare a fair and then a foul ball. By rule nothing should be declared until the final status of the ball is determined. Therefore it is felt this wording would best be located under “fair ball” in the rulebook. When a batted ball comes in contact with a bat discarded by the offense, or a glove or mask discarded by the defense, (both of which are unintentional and over fair territory), it is ruled a live ball, and has no fair/foul status until it comes to rest or is first touched by a player. After touching the discarded equipment, the ball stops or is touched over fair territory it is a fair ball, and if it rolls to foul territory where it is first touched or stops, it is ruled a foul ball.

An infielder is a fielder who defends the area of the field around first, second, third or shortstop areas. (This assists in determining the positioning for the co-ed slow pitch game). For purposes of appeals and the infield fly rule, the pitcher and catcher are also considered infielders.
COMMENTS: To clarify who are infielders for purposes of the appeal play, the infield fly ruling, and for the game of coed slow pitch which states that four players (two male and two female) must be positioned in the outfield, and four players (two male and two female) must be positioned in the infield.

Rule 2, Sec 1:
Change the pitching distance from 35 feet to 40 feet in Girls 10-Under Slow Pitch.
COMMENTS: Pitching distances have been changed for 12-U, 14-U and 16-U in recent years. Rather than an 11-foot change when the ten year old moves to 12-U, this change is now only a 6-foot difference.

Rule 3, Sec 5-E1:
E. Helmets
1. OFFENSE. All adult fast pitch, modified pitch and all Junior Olympic offensive players, including the on-deck batter and Junior Olympic players acting as coaches in the coach’s box, must properly wear double ear flap NOCSAE-approved batting helmets. All Junior Olympic batting helmets shall be equipped with chin straps (Effective 2003). Any other offensive player may wear an approved helmet of similar color as the team caps. Batting helmets that are broken, cracked, dented, or that have been illegally altered are prohibited from use.
EFFECT: Failure to wear the batting helmet when ordered to do so by the umpire shall cause the player to be disqualified from the game. Wearing the helmet improperly or removing the helmet during a live ball play and judged by the umpire to be a deliberate act shall cause the violator to be declared out immediately. The ball remains live. Calling a runner out for removing a helmet does not remove force play situations. Umpires should use discretion as to the intent of the rule concerning player safety.
COMMENTS: Helmets on Junior Olympic players are coming off too often either by accident or on purpose. Utilizing chinstraps would assist in keeping the helmet on. Helmet manufacturers have indicated they will have snaps on helmets for chinstraps by 2003. Most manufacturers have already.

Rule 4, Sec 5
A. Any player may be substituted and re-entered once, providing players occupy the same batting positions whenever in the line-up.
B. Players may not re-enter a second time. The starting player and their substitute may not be in the line-up at the same time.
C. If a player re-enters the game a second time or a player re-enters the game in a position in the batting order other than their original starting or substitute position, this is considered an illegal re-entry.
EFFECT – Section A-C: Violation of the re-entry rule is considered an illegal player. The illegal player is disqualified. See Rule 4, Section 7 for additional penalties.
COMMENTS:To allow more participation in the game. This new ruling allows substitutes to re-enter. It was the feeling that if starting players could re-enter, then the substitute was penalized if he/she could not re-enter.

Rule 8, Sec 1-D-4b (FP & Mod P Only)
Reword “b” to include the underlined section, to read:
4. The catcher or any other fielder shall not:
a. No change.
b. On a swing or attempted bunt, touch the batter or his bat with a runner on third base trying to score by means of a squeeze play or a steal. The runner shall be awarded home plate and the batter shall also be awarded first base on the obstruction. The ball is dead. For batter interference see Rule 7, Sec 6-O.
COMMENTS:This deals with catcher obstruction, and pertains to a runner on third trying to steal home on a squeeze play. (It does not pertain to runners at 1B or 2B advancing. Only the batter is awarded 1B in these situations.) The 3B runner shall be awarded home plate was the wording written in previous rulebook, and accidentally removed. The wording has been returned to clarify this ruling.

Rule 8, Sec. 2E
Add the underlined part to the sub-section “E”.
E. When the batter-runner runs outside the three-foot (0.91m) lane and, in the judgment of the umpire, interferes with the fielder taking the throw at first base, however, the batter-runner may run outside the three-foot (0.91m) lane to avoid a fielder attempting to field a batted ball. When the defensive player uses the colored portion of the double base, the batter-runner can run in fair territory when the throw is coming from the foul side of first base, and if hit by the thrown ball, it would not be interference.
COMMENTS:This only pertains to the use of the double base at first base. The protected area for the batter-runner will be three feet on either side of the fair/foul line, when a thrown ball to first base is thrown from foul territory. If the batter-runner is hit, the ball remains live and in play.

Rule 8, Sec 4-H-6:
(10-Under Fast Pitch Only) add the underlined part to 6c to read:
C. Runners can only score on:
a. A batted ball,
b. A base on balls or a hit batter with the bases full, or
c. On an awarded base when the ball:

1. Goes out of play, or
2. On an illegal pitch.
COMMENTS:This covers another situation when a base runner in the 10-under FP game can score on an awarded base.

Rule 8, Sec. 6-G-2
Add the underlined wording to this sub-section to read:
G. When the ball is in play and is overthrown (beyond the boundary lines) or is blocked:
EFFECT: No Change.
1. No change.
2. When the ball becomes dead, runners may return to touch a missed base or the base left too soon even if they have advanced, touched, and remains a base beyond the missed base or the base left too soon. Runners must be given the opportunity to complete their base running responsibilities.
3. No change.
4. No change.
COMMENTS:For many years a base runner was not allowed to return to a base missed or left too soon, if the runner was a base beyond when the ball was thrown out-of-play. This ruling has now been changed to allow the base runner to return to the missed base or one left too soon, regardless of the runner’s position when the ball goes out-of-play. A dead ball appeal cannot be made until the ball has been returned to the infield, and that includes the umpire throwing another ball to the pitcher once the runner has completed this return, therefore no “dead ball” appeal can be made without the ball. (8-8-EFFECT F-I-[3]) Awarded bases will still be made from the position of the runner at the time the overthrown ball leaves the defender’s hand.

Rule 8, Sec. 8-J-5
Delete current J-4-b and add new sub-section #5:
J. When the runner interferes:
5. Intentionally with any defensive player having the opportunity to make an out with the deflected batted ball.
COMMENTS:Base runners should not be ruled out if hit by a deflected ball off one defensive player, and another has an opportunity to play the ball, unless the runner intentionally interferes with the second player making a play on the batted ball. This makes this ruling similar to Rule 8, Sec 9-F.
The previous item “b” was mistakenly listed under interfering with a thrown ball, and new sub-section “5” deals with a batted ball.

Rule 8, Sec. 8 J-L:
Change exception to read:
EXCEPTION: If the interference prevents the fielder from catching a routine fly ball (fair or foul) with ordinary effort, the batter is also out.
COMMENTS:Previously if interference occurred on a batted fly ball over fair territory, the batter was awarded first on a fielder’s choice, or if over foul territory, a strike was called on the batter, and in slow pitch if this was the third strike, the batter was out. That ruling was believed to give the offense an advantage to the rules. With this new wording, both the runner and the batter are now out.

Rule 8, Sec 8-T:
Add new 1. to sub-section to read:
The “Look Back” rule will be in effect when the ball is live, the batter-runner has touched first base or has been declared out, and the pitcher has possession and control of the ball within the pitcher’s circle. The pitcher is considered to be in the pitcher’s circle when both feet are on or within the lines.
1. No change.
2. No change
3. No change.
COMMENTS:The “Look Back” rule will not be in effect until the batter-runner reaches (touches) first base. In past years, a runner at second or third base could leave the base on ball four, and if the ball was thrown back to the pitcher within the 8 foot radius circle, would be called out if they did not move back toward their base or toward the next base. With this new ruling, any runner can remain off the base until the batter-runner touches first base. Once the batter-runner touches first, and the pitcher has the ball in the circle, all runners are in jeopardy of being called out if they do not move towards one base or the other.

Rule 8, Sec. 11-B
B. In the top of the first inning only, the pitcher and catcher are identified as those players listed on the lineup as the pitcher and catcher. Thereafter, the pitcher and catcher are identified as the last players who physically played that position on defense. If a substitute enters in the following half inning, and gets on base, should the pitcher or catcher re-enter, no courtesy runner can be utilized for the pitcher or catcher during that half inning.
COMMENTS:Previously written, a substitute could bat for the pitcher or catcher and get on base. The pitcher or catcher could then re-enter and a courtesy runner could be placed in the game for the re-entered pitcher or catcher. This was not the intent of the courtesy runner rule, and has been changed to prohibit this.