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The NCAA Softball Rules Committee sent out a memo regarding important information for the upcoming 2017-18 academic year.

The four highlighted topics included in the memo are:

  1. An additional exception to the BCT threshold of 1550 psi for the Easton Ghost bat model; 
  2. Posting of the July NCAA Approved Softball Bat List; 
  3. Dugout protection requirements for 2018; and 
  4. Participation in the rules comment period survey.

Easton Ghost Bat Model - The NCAA Softball Rules Committee has granted Easton an exception for compliance with the existing NCAA barrel compression testing (BCT) standard for the Ghost model introduced this summer. For purposes of BCT conducted by NCAA representatives, the Ghost models will be considered in compliance with a reading of 1000 psi or higher. The exception was granted only for their Ghost models, as noted by asterisks (**) on the current NCAA Approved Softball Bat List. The standard for all other Easton models remains the same as all other manufacturers' models not granted an exception (1550 psi or higher).

Similar to the exception granted to Hillerich & Bradsby Company's Louisville Slugger Xeno and LXT models (approved at a minimum of 1400psi), the exception was granted for Easton's Ghost based on the manufacturer and NCAA corroborative testing data that demonstrated compliance with the maximum batted ball speed, even though the exempt models' BCT data was frequently softer than the aforementioned 1550 psi standard.

Details regarding the criteria and process to request an exception for compliance with the existing NCAA BCT standard are posted on www.sup.arbitersports.com . Questions regarding this exception or the process to request an exception for compliance with the existing NCAA BCT standard should be directed to Dee Abrahamson at abrahamson@niu.edu " target="_blank" style="color: rgb(17, 85, 204); font-family: Arial; font-size: small;">abrahamson@niu.edu or 815-751-2648.

July NCAA Approved Softball Bat List - The first NCAA Approved Softball Bat List for the upcoming 2017-18 academic year has been posted on the NCAA Softball Home Plate and NCAA Softball Playing Rules websites.

Approved Softball Bat List distribution dates for the 2018 season will be December 11 and April 9 (the second Monday of those months) at 9 a.m. Eastern time. Additional Lists will be posted when a manufacturer withdraws a bat model or the results of bat testing dictate assessing strikes against and/or removing a model.

When reviewing the bat list, please note that a bat on the list with a strike(s) may be used in competition. Also, the summary of changes to the listing appears in a separate document. DEL means that model was deleted from the list and cannot be used.

Coaches are reminded that they are responsible for legally equipping their team, and bats used in competition MUST appear on the current approved bat list. They are to provide umpires with a current bat list; highlight and indicate the number of each model of bats their team will be using during each game. Bats are to be checked before every game.

2018 Dugout Protection Requirements - By the 2018 season, the field side of the dugout shall be protected by netting or fencing not less than 6 feet from the floor of the dugout except for the designated entrances and exits to the field. 

2018 and 2019 Rules Comment Period - On July 17, conference commissioners and head coaches will receive a link to participate in the rules comment period survey. The NCAA Softball Rules Committee recently approved several rules changes and is requesting your opinion of these rules changes before they are implemented. 

Thank you in advance for your time and attention to these important items. Please contact Dee Abrahamson for bat/equipment questions or Vickie Van Kleeck for rules questions. 

-- Courtesy of NCAA Rules Committee

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