NFHS Rules Differences

Baseball - Fast Pitch Softball

Original content compiled by Andrew Pecora - NJSBUA
Edited and expanded by Steve Orinick - Note: List is not all-inclusive
Not recently updated - See link

NFHS - Pro Rules Differences

NFHS BASEBALL
NFHS SOFTBALL
(FAST PITCH ONLY)
RULE 1
Rule
Rule
RULE 1
Lineup cards must include substitutes - No penalty 1-1-2 3-1-3 1/team warning 2/head coach restricted to bench for lineup card that must be subsequently corrected with proper name/number or sub added
No similar rule 1-1-2d 16' circle must be drawn around pitchers plate
Pitching distance 60' 6" 1-2-11 1-1-2b note Pitching distance 43' by state adoption
Catchers box 8' x 43" from point of plate.
1-2 Diagram
1-2 Diagram
Catcher's box 10' x 8' 5" from back of batter's box.
Line up changes reported to UIC and scorekeeper. Pitcher must pitch to one batter or not allowed to return to pitch later.
1-1-4
1-1-4
Line up changes reported to UIC. Pitcher is not required to pitch to one batter. May be removed and return to pitch later in game.
Pitcher may not wear a white or gray exposed undershirt below elbow at any time. Caps must be worn, shorts not listed.
1-1-5
1-1-5
Pitcher may wear white or gray exposed undershirt under certain conditions. Headwear not required. Caps, visors and headbands may be mixed. Shorts, skirts allowed.
No mention of exposed undergarments.
1-1-5
1-1-5c
Exposed upper and lower undergarments need not be the same color, but all lower and all upper for the team must be the same color.
No item on both hands, wrists or arms may be worn, if distracting to batter.
1-1-5
1-1-5e
No item on pitching hand, wrist or arm deemed distracting, may be worn - umpire judgment.
Numbers must be at least 8" high.
1-1-5
1-1-5f
Numbers must be at least 6" high.
Non-adult warming up pitcher at any location must wear mask & throat protector.
1-1-5
1-1-7
Non-adult warming up pitcher within confines of field must wear mask & throat protector.
Metal cleats are allowed.
1-1-5
1-1-8
No metal cleats or toe plates.
Head coach required to attend pre-game conference.
1-1-7
1-1-10
Adult required to attend pre-game conference.
Field Dimensions Field Dimensions
Batter's box 4' x 6'.
1-2-1
1-2-1c
Batter's box 3' x 7'.
Catcher's box 8' x 43" from point of plate.
1-2-1
1-2-1c
Catcher's box 10' x 8' 5" from back line of batter's box.
Bases 90': 3' lane 45'.
1-2-1
1-2-1c
Bases 60': 3' lane 30'.
No similar rule.
1-2-1a4
16' circle must be drawn around pitcher's plate.
Pitcher's mound 10" high, synthetic material allowed.
1-2-2
1-2-1a4
Pitcher's plate flush with ground. No synthetic material allowed.
Coaches box 20' x 5' 15' from foul line.
1-2-1
1-2-1c
Coaches box 15' 8' from foul line.
Lines that are not permanent must be white 1-2-2 No similar rule
Ball Dimensions
Ball Dimensions
5 to 5 oz. 9 to 9 " Cover must be leather and white. COR of .555.
1-3-4
1-3-4
6 to 7oz. 11 7/8" to 12 1/8" cover may be synthetic. Optic yellow color ball allowed. COR .47 or lower. COR / color may not be mixed.
Bat Dimensions Bat Dimensions
Metal bats must have a safety grip. Min.10" Max. 18". Non-wood bats must meet BBCOR standard.
1-3-5
1-3-5
ALL bats must have safety grip. Min.10" Max 15".
No similar rule.
1-3-5
On deck batter allowed only two bats.
36" max. length 2 5/8" diameter.
1-3-5
1-3-5
34" max. length 2 " Diam. must have ASA performance label.
Minimum length to weight required.
1-3-5
No similar rule.
Gloves Gloves
Glove color restriction for pitcher only.
1-3-6
1-3-6
No player may wear optic color, gray or white glove.
Use of illegal glove has penalty of two or three bases.
1-4-3
1-4-2,8-8-15
Use of illegal glove option result of play or batter bat again.
Loose equipment on field umpire decision award or penalty.
1-4-4
1-4-4
Loose equipment offensive: runner played on out. defensive - overthrow.
RULE 2
RULE 2
No similar rule. 2-4-3 Definition for banned bats not currently covered in rulebook. Covers bats once approved by ASA but no longer meet performance standards.
No change in definition of a catch.
2-9-1
2-10-1
No catch with one foot entirely in dead ball area. Trapped ball on throw glove must be raised with ball before runner reaches base for out to be made.
No similar rule. 2-36 Deleted from obstruction rule that fielders may be about to receive the ball. Obstruction may be called unless the fielder is in possession of the ball or fielding a batted ball.
No similar rule. 5-1-1g Blocked ball becomes dead ball.
Balk - No pitch - Dead immediately.
2-3-1
2-43-2
Illegal pitch - delayed dead ball.
Quick pitch - No pitch- Balk with runner on.
6-1-1
6-2-4b
Quick pitch - No pitch.
No similar rule.
2-2-9
Ball rotation is mandatory Refer to 4-1-4.
Imaginary line drawn from first to third, ball hit beyond this line - fair ball.
2-5-1
No similar rule.
No similar rule.
2-16
Crow hop-Illegal replanting of pivot foot - illegal pitch.
Foul tip may be caught by any fielder.
2-16-2
2-25-2
Foul tip may only be caught by catcher.
No similar rule.
2-33
LEAP- both feet air borne at time of pitch - illegal pitch.
Illegal pitch declared only with no one on; with runner on balk.
2-28-2
2-43-2
Illegal pitch only type of pitch delivered not in accordance with rule: when pitch is not ignored, batter awarded additional ball Delayed dead ball.
No similar rule.
2-51-1, 2
SLAP HIT not a bunt by rule.
Strike zone: top halfway between shoulders and waistline to knees.
2-35 -1
2-56-3
Strike zone: forward arm pit to TOP of knees.
Unreported substitute: no penalty.
2-36-2
2-57-3
Unreported substitute: Team Warning.
Intentional base on balls may be given at any time.
2-4-3
2-63
No intentional base on balls all pitches must be delivered.
Holding of bat in strike zone not considered a bunt attempt Casebook 7.21(b) 2-8-2 Attempted bunt-holding bat is strike zone is bunt attempt-must be withdrawn
RULE 3
RULE 3
Pitcher or sub required to pitch to one batter or side retired to return.
3-1-2
3-1-1 Note 1
Pitcher not required to pitch to one batter to return as pitcher.
Sub may not re-enter.
3-1-3
3-1-3
Any player may re-enter once.
DH Rule. Role of DH terminated under listed conditions. May not change from 10 to 9 players. May not play defense at same time. 3-1-4 3-1-5 Designated Player (DP / Flex rule). Role of offensive player is never terminated, team may go from 10 to 9 players and back to 10 any number of times. DP & Flex have option of playing defense at same time. Optional.
Coach must be in team uniform in coaches box. 3-2-1 3-2-1 Coach not required to be in team uniform. School colors or khaki, black, white, fleece is acceptable.
Unreported sub no penalty.
2-36-2
3-3-1l
Unreported sub team warning.
No similar rule   3-6-17 Illegal to intentionally remove lines on field - ball / strike if defense / offense - team warning (1) bench restriction (2) for head coach & offender
Metal cleats allowed.
1-1-5
3-3-1t
No metal cleats-immediate ejection.
No similar rule 2-3-6 DP / FLEX.
RULE 4 RULE 4
No similar rule.
4-1-4
Ball rotation is mandatory.
RULE 5
RULE 5
Pitch striking runner - Dead ball.
5-1-1a
Technically impossible - pitch striking runner.
Retired runner interferes - If uncertain who might be played on runner closest to home is declared out if this prevented double play.
5-1-1e, 8-4-2g
5-1-1e, 8-6-17
Retired runner interferes - runner closest to home declared out if it prevented double play.
Illegal pitch or balk - dead immediately.
5-1-1k
5-1-2a
Illegal pitch delayed dead ball- coach has options.
Batter / runner may retreat to home before being declared out.
Case Book 8.1.1A
5-1-1n
Batter / runner steps backward to avoid or delay tag :Out, dead ball .
Dead ball not alive until pitcher is in pitching position.
5-1-4
5-1-4
Dead ball alive when pitcher has ball in circle - ump calls "play".
RULE 6
RULE 6
Refer to complete pitching rules for full information. Refer to complete pitching rules for full information.
Two pitching positions - Wind up and Set.
6-1-1
6-1-1
One pitching position
Set position one: foot must be in contact with plate. One or two feet must be in contact with plate.
No mention. Shoulders in line with first and third.
No time limit mentioned. Ball must be held in both hands from 1 to 10 seconds.
Not mentioned in rule. Both feet must be within 24" of plate.
In wind up position pitcher may step back with non pivot foot.
6-1-2
6-1-2
Pitcher must start step back before hands come together. Step may end before or after hands come together.
No mention of crow hop or leap. Crow hop and leap are illegal.
24" limitation not mentioned. Step must be forward within 24" length of plate.
May or may not deliver underhand.
6-1-3
6-1-3
Delivery must be underhand.
Illegal pitch immediate dead ball. Illegal pitch: delayed dead ball.
In set position pitcher may not stop above chin level. No mention of where pitcher may stop.
Wind up position hands may separate.
6-1-2
6-1-2
Once hands separate pitch must be delivered.
May reverse forward motion.
6-1-4c
No stop or reversal of forward motion.
No similar motion.
6-1-4d
Arm may drop to side and rear prior to windmill motion.
No similar rule.
6-1-4e
Pitcher may not wind up after release of pitch Illegal pitch.
Pitch dropped during delivery crosses foul line: no one on ball does not cross line: No pitch. Runner on: Always a balk.
6-1-4
6-2-6
Pitch dropped backswing or forward motion: Ball. Runner may advance at own risk.
Runner(s) on balk- immediate dead ball.
6-1-1,2,3
6-2-3
Illegal pitch is delayed dead ball - Coach may have options.
Batter struck by illegal pitch or balk no awarded base.
2-28-2
8-1-1d
Batter struck by illegal pitch is awarded base.
Illegal pitch no one on: ball. Runner on: balk.
6-1-1, 2, 3
6-1-1, 2, 3, 4
Illegal pitch - ball and runners advance.
Quick pitch Illegal pitch. Runners may take leads off bases prior to pitch.
6-1-1
6-2-4
Runner leaves base before pitch is released &quick pitch: No pitch Runner leaves base before release of pitch - out.
Sub pitcher allowed 8 pitches.
6-2-4
6-2-5
All pitchers allowed only 5 warm up pitches. There are exceptions.
No penalty listed.
6-2-5
Penalty
Ball for each excessive pitch beyond 5.
Illegal pitch or balk Ball dead immediately. No pitch.
6-1-1,2,3 Penalty
6-2-3 Exception
Coach has option if batter hits illegal pitch .
No similar rule.
6-2-5
No one on catcher must return pitch to pitcher: Penalty: Ball.
Pitcher may throw to base in set position.
6-1-3
6-2-6
In pitching position may not throw to base.
Not mentioned in rules.
6-2-8
If fielder takes position in batter's line of vision with unsporting intent illegal pitch.
RULE 7
RULE 7
After a pitch (legal or illegal) or a play or attempted play defense loses right to appeal batting out of order.
7-1-2b
7-1-2b
Only after a pitch (legal or illegal ) defense loses right to appeal batting out of order.
No similar rule   7-2-1i Member of offense intentionally removes a line - strike is charged
Batter must take position within 20 seconds 7-3-1 7-3-1 Batter must take position within 10 seconds
Batter must keep one foot in box (some exceptions).
7-3-1
No similar rule.
Batter interferes with catcher, he still has opportunity to throw out runner.
7-3-5
7-3-5
If batter interferes with catcher: Immediate dead ball.
Use of illegal bat: Defense may take penalty or result of play.
7-4a
7-4-1a
Use of an illegal bat: Batter is out - any outs made on play stand.
Broken, dented, cracked bat removed with no penalty.
7-4-1a
7-4-1a 1-3-5
Broken, cracked, dented bats are illegal.
RULE 8
RULE 8
No base award if struck with illegal pitch or balk.
2-28-2
8-1-2b
Batter struck with illegal pitch is awarded base.
Intentional base on balls may be awarded with any count.
8-1-1c
8-1-1c
All pitches must be delivered - No intentional walk.
During live ball fielder may accidently touch missed base and get an out.
8-2 Penalty
No similar rule.
On base on balls batter must not over run first - liable to be tagged out.
8-2-4
8-8-9
Batter may over run first on base on balls - not liable to be tagged out.
Batted fair ball strikes runner on base in front of fielder: out.
8-4-2k
8-1-2a
Runner in contact with base struck by batted fair ball: Not out.
After dead ball runner need not remain on base.
8-2-6
8-4-1a
After dead ball runner must remain on base until pitch is released.
No similar rule.
8-4-3 Exception
Fielder loses possession on tag, ball goes dead - award 1 base.
Batter-runner may retreat to home before being out.
Play 8.1.1A
8-2-8
Batter-runner steps backward towards home - Out, ball is dead.
Obstructed runner awarded at least one base in advance.
8-3-2
8-4-31
Obstructed runner awarded base would have reached.
Runner interferes prevents obvious double play batter/runner out also.
8-4-1h
8-6-10 Penalty
Runner interferes to prevent obvious double play Immediate succeeding runner out also.
Retired runner interferes prevents obvious double play batter/runner out.
8-4-1h
8-6-17
Retired runner interferes to prevent obvious double play runner closest to home out also.
Diving is illegal.
8-4-2d
Case Book 8.3.1F
Diving is legal.
No similar rule.
8-7-1,2,3
Look-back rule certain restrictions for batter/runner and runners.
Batted ball passes infielder no other infielder has chance for out. Runner not out (batted ball hits runner while off base).
8-4-2k
8-8-4
Batted ball passes infielder and an outfielder has chance to field & make an out, runner is out.(very unusual circumstance).
By state association adoption courtesy runner may be used.
Speed up rules
8-9-1
Courtesy runner allowed by rule.
Coach may make appeal from bench.
8-2-1to 5
8-6-6 to 9
Coach not listed in appeal process.
Use of illegal glove: 3 bases batted ball - 2 bases thrown ball.
8-3-3a,b,c
8-8-15
Use of illegal glove: coach has option of result of play or batter bats over.
If fielder drops a batted ball, fielder has greater responsibility for avoiding contact.
8-4-1g Note
8-6-10a Interpretation
If the runner makes contact with a fielder attempting to field a batted ball, runner is interfering even in subsequent attempt.
RULE 10
RULE 10
Umpires shall wear: Navy pullover shirt (or state adopted shirt), grey slacks. If worn, umpire undershirt must be blue. 10-1-9 10-3-4-2 Proper uniform: Powder blue shirt (pullover or button style), heather gray or navy blue slacks.  If worn, umpire undershirt must be white.

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This list is for informational purposes only and is not recognized by the NFHS. It is entirely the obligation of the user to verify all information for errors or omissions.

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