Softball and baseballís favorite newspaper since 1987
NSF-MSF Softball Report - May 3, 2012
By Perry Coonce
Treasure Island leads off qualifier season
Not all the gaming will take place in the casino when the first NSF National Qualifier of 2012 is held at Treasure Island Softball Complex on Saturday, May 12. Top finishers in all menís classes qualify for the inaugural National Softball Federationís North American Championships on Labor Day weekend right back at Treasure Island Casino.
For Nationals, teams are guaranteed three games with most getting four or five. The entry fee is just $325 and the cost to travel there for five state area teams is much lower than heading to Missouri or a city like Topeka, Kan. If you know of out of state teams that would be interested, refer one or more for a $25 per team deduction on your entry fee.
Minnesota squads must qualify through qualifier or state tournament play for the menís DD-E nationals. Teams may enter director for the menís C and womenís nationals planned for Labor Day weekend in Cambridge. Qualifiers will also be held in Faribault (Lucky 7) on June 9-10 and Cambridge (Ed Oliver Memorial) on July 7-8.
NSF-MSF adopts progressive new rules
In attempt to help protect the pitcher and put some defense back into the game, NSF-MSF leagues and tournaments will be using the 12-foot arc. Additionally, slow pitch pitchers are allowed to pitch from three feet behind the 50-foot pitcherís plate if desired.
The NSF-MSF rulebook states: Slow pitch pitchers have the option to take their position on the pitching plate and take one three foot step back before pitching. Once the three foot step back is taken, the pitcher must come to a full and complete stop with both feet firmly on the ground per the normal rule. Also, the pivot foot must remain in contact with the ground within the width of the pitcherís plate until the pitched ball leaves the hand.
To add some strategy to the game and extend the playing careers of some veteran players, a designated runner rule has been adopted.
The NSF rulebook states: A designated runner may be used in adult slow pitch, fast pitch and modified pitch with the following conditions:
a) Substitutes and any other eligible player on the line-up card/scorebook, may be used as a designated runner.
b) Only one designated runner may be used per inning.
c) When announced by a team rep, the designated runner is officially in the game.
d) If a designated runnerís time at bat comes while they are on base, they will be out as a base runner, be removed from base and allowed to take their turn at bat;
e) Except in the case of injury, one designated runner may not run for another;
f) Once a runner has been replaced by a designated runner, they may not be used as a designated runner for the remainder of the inning.
PENALTY for violating a-f: An out is declared and runner is removed from base.
Two pickup players may now be used for slow pitch in postseason play.
The program guidebook states: Slow pitch teams are permitted to add two pickup players as follows:
1. Pickup players must be from the same softball community.
2. The player must come from the same class or lower. If the pickup player plays on more than one team, they must assume the classification of the highest team for pickup player purposes.
3. The pickup player must not be playing on another team in postseason.
Women may now play menís fast pitch. Because there is no state tournament for womenís fast pitch, women may now play alongside their male counterparts in menís fast pitch.
Players may not be on more than one roster in the same league.
The program guidebook states: Players are not allowed to be on multiple NSF-MSF postseason rosters from within the same league with common opponents.
NSF-MSF will continue to use the 44 cor/375 compression ball. To date, the new 52/300 ball has not been well received by players because of its super-bounce and deadness. The NSF-MSF believes the 44 cor/375 ball is not the problem, but rather the trampoline effect off of the bats. Why should players have to hit a mush ball and contend with erratic bounces when the bats are the problem, not just the balls?
College and high school baseball have reached that conclusion by greatly restricting bats after several years where serious and even fatal injuries have occurred. When will the national ďgoverning bodiesĒ in softball figure that out or is their addition to high priced bats and the bat royalties they provide too strong?
Until next time, good luck in your league and tournament games.