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ASA Approves 18A Move to 43-foot Pitching Distance

A 43-foot pitching distance for the 18A ASA classification has become a reality. Meeting November 3-9 in Louisville, Kentucky, the ASA Council approved the new distance at its final general session November 8, after first being approved in the Fastpitch Rules Subcommittee and Playing Rules Committee. 

A similar rule was discussed for 18B and 16U, but never made it out of committee consideration. 

Another proposed rules change was to accept metal spikes for the JO Girls 18-U divisions, which would be consistent with the National Federation of High Schools’ approval of metal spikes for the 2007-08 academic year. Although there was a close vote (28-28 in playing rules), the proposal was rejected. 

The ASA legislative group considered 88 ASA Code changes, including elimination of NCAA Division I and Division II players from any Junior Olympic Team. It was defeated. 

Equipment was a hot topic, with the Equipment Testing and Certification Committee announcing an additional “break-in test” for bats (see related story in November’s Fastpitch Delivery). Doctoring of bats also was discussed and seems to be a bigger problem that initially thought. 

In other action: 

• 2009 host sites were selected, including the following fastpitch tournaments: 

-- Girls 10U Class A; July 26-August 8, Johnson City, Tennessee 
-- Girls 12U Class A; July 26-August 8, Normal, Illinois 
-- Girls 14U Class A; July 26-August 8, Marietta, Georgia 
-- Girls 16U Class A; July 26-August 8, Sioux Falls, South Dakota 
-- Girls 18U Class A; July 26-August 8, Las Vegas, Nevada 
-- Girls 18U Gold; week after 18A, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 
-- Women’s 23U; July 16-19, Sterling, Virginia 
-- Women’s Major Fastpitch; July 31-August 2, Auburn, Alabama 

• Eleven honorees were selected for the ASA National Softball Hall of Fame class of 2008. The five players are Mitch Munthe of Modesto, CA; Jim Marsh of Yukon, OK, who played the majority of his career in California; Jenni Harp Oliver of Chattanooga, TN; Roberta (Robbie) Mulkey of California and Kermit Lynch of Oklahoma City. All of the inductees starred in fast pitch except for Harp, who earned All-America honors five times in slow pitch. Six were elected in the nonplaying category and include Jerry Stewart of Arcola, IL (meritorious service), Freddie and Virginia Ezell of Midland, TX (meritorious service); Garland Thompson of Wilmore, KY (commissioner); Kevin Ryan of Stanley, NC (umpire) and Ron Galemore of Gaithersburg, MD (umpires).