INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. â Two new rules regarding the use of electronic devices in high school softball were among the five changes approved by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Softball Rules Committee at its June 10â12 meeting in Indianapolis. All rules changes were subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.
The Ohio High School Athletic Association abides by NFHS rules.
With the addition of Rule 1â8â6, team personnel are permitted to use electronic devices to transmit or record information pertaining to their players or teamâs performances. This is to be done only in the teamâs bench or dugout areas, and the information obtained may be used for coaching purposes during the game.
âThe committee felt that with the advancement of technology, it was time to allow electronic devices to be used,â said Theresia Wynns, NFHS director of sports and officials education and staff liaison for softball. âIt focused on what was good for softball and that the devices could be a useful tool to aid in coaching.â
According to Rule 3â6â11, information obtained by electronic devices shall not be used to review decisions made by the umpires.
Wynns said that the committee strongly opposed the use of information obtained by the electronic devices to dispute an umpire about a specific call on the field.
âThe committee did not want to give teams a competitive advantage,â she said. âIt also did not want to hamper the progress of the game.â
In other changes, the committee established definitions for âteam membersâ and âteam personnel.â
Team members are players listed on the teamâs roster and lineup as submitted to the umpire at the pregame meeting. Team personnel consist of all school representatives located in the team dugout, including but not limited to coaches, managers, certified athletic trainers and scorekeepers.
The committee also revised Rule 1â5â2c by eliminating âsmoothâ from the description of the taper, noting that not all bats have smooth tapers.
Fastâpitch softball is the fifthâmost popular sport for girls at the high school level, according to the 2011â12 NFHS Athletics Participation Survey, with 367,023 participants nationwide. The sport ranks fourth in school sponsorship with 14,142 schools offering the sport.
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