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NCAA Softball Rules Committee Recommends Ball Compression Rules Change

(Note: The NCAA Softball Rules Committee recently sent the following memo to softball equipment manufacturers. We thought the contents of the memo might be of interest.)

The NCAA Softball Rules Committee, during a recent conference call, made a rules recommendation to the respective divisional governing bodies regarding the compression of balls used in college softball.

If the recommendation passes, the following would take effect January of 2001. 1. In Rule 3-1, a compression limitation will be added to the current ball specifications to read: 350 pounds plus or minus 50 pounds. In addressing the balance between offense and defense, the NCAA Softball Rules Committee is concerned about ball exit speed and the role of technology in the game.

In order to appropriately address the issue, the committee is first forwarding a ball compression standard. With this standard in place, the committee intends to address bat specifications. The committee believes both implements will need to be regulated to get the desired result of a lively, exciting game but played under safe conditions.

The Division I Championships/Competition Cabinet meets on September 13-17. The Division II Championships Committee meets September 21-23. The Division III Championships Committee meets by conference call September 16. If all three groups agree, this will become a playing rule as written above or as modified by those groups. If one or two of those groups disagree with the recommendation, it will be forwarded to the NCAA Executive Committee for consideration. The Executive Committee meets Oct. 29. I

f you have questions about these recommendations, please call Heather Yost at the NCAA national office at 317/917-6222 or secretary-rules editor Dee Abrahamson, Northern Illinois University, at 815/753-1628.