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NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel Approves Video Review

(Photo Courtesy of Rawlings)

The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved video review along with components to the pitching position and bat testing on Wednesday.

Conferences are allowed to experiment with video review in regular-season conference games and conference tournaments. Coaches will be allowed two video challenges per game.

According to the NCAA, “A challenge must be initiated verbally or visually before the next pitch; before the pitcher and all infielders have clearly vacated their normal fielding position and left fair territory; or before the umpires have left the field of play.”

Umpires will be allowed to initiate a video review from the sixth inning on.

The following plays are reviewable:

• Deciding whether a batted ball called fair is fair or foul.
• Deciding whether a batted ball called a ground-rule double or home run is fair or foul.
• Deciding whether a batted ball called foul that could result in a ground-rule double or home run is fair or foul.
• Spectator interference.
• Deciding scoring plays at home plate inclusive of collisions (illegal and/or malicious slides), obstruction by a defensive player or timing plays.
• Force/tag play calls: Plays involving all runners acquiring the base before the defensive player’s attempt to put the runner out at any base.
• Hit-by-pitch calls: Plays for which there is a possibility that a pitched ball touches a batter or her clothing, which shall incorporate a review on whether the batter is inside or outside the batter’s box if it is determined upon review that a pitched ball has touched a batter or her clothing.
• Placement of runners: An umpire’s placement of all runners (per the rules/case book) after any blocked ball call.
• With runners on base, a no-catch call can be changed to a catch only if it results in a third out. With no runners on base, a no-catch call can be changed to a catch at any time.

Pitching Changes

So many pitchers receive their signals by looking at their armband, the committee felt that pitchers weren’t pausing after stepping onto the rubber.

For the 2020 season, the pitcher may take the signal with her stride foot on or behind the rubber as far back as she wants. The pitcher must also take or appear to take the signal while in the pitching and signal-taking positions.
The NCAA describes the pitching position as, “When she has her hands apart, her pivot foot in contact with the pitcher’s plate, both feet on the ground within the 24-inch length of the pitcher’s plate and her hips in line with first and third bases, and the catcher is in position to receive the pitch.”

Bat Testing

Barrel compression testing will be required in Division I by Jan. 1, 2021 and in Division II by Jan. 1, 2022. Bat testing will be conducted before the start of each game, doubleheader, series or tournament.
The school will be required to purchase the machine which costs around $875.

north georgia softball Photo by Joy Kimbrough_NCAA Photos via Getty Images.jpg

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