Pre-season Softball Memo #1 April 23, 2018

Less than 30 days remain until the 2018 softball season "officially" begins.  Please take a few minutes to review the following information in preparation for the upcoming season.

By the Numbers
First practice: Monday, May 7
First game: Monday, May 21
First tournament: Friday, May 24
Playing dates: 40 games
Scrimmages: 3

Regional Tournament Dates:
Class 1A and 2A: July 2, 3, 6, 9
Class 3A: July 3, 6, 9
Class 4A and 5A: July 5, 7, 10

State Tournament: July 16–20 in Fort Dodge for all classes

Official tournament ball: Dudley SB 12L RF Y FP — Red stitch (.47 COR)

QuikStats reporting dates:  May 29, June 5, June 12, June 19, June 26, and July 3

Maximums: 65 games per individual; only 3 games per day regardless of level

Individual and Team Limitations
A team is permitted to play no more than three games in any single day. Tournaments may include no more than 16 teams. No more than four games per team may be played in any tournament. A school may play in only one tournament at a time and play no more than three games on a calendar day. No junior varsity teams are allowed in varsity tournaments except in emergency situations (must be approved by the IGHSAU).

Eighth grade students are eligible to practice (including scrimmages) with the high school team on May 7 and compete on May 21. Eighth graders may compete on the junior high team, high school team or both. If competing in junior high and high school, they may play in only three games on a calendar day.

Academic Eligibility
Academic eligibility resumes at 12:01 a.m. on June 20.

2018 Clinics
The final two 2018 softball umpire clinics are May 12 and 13 at Cedar Rapids Jefferson.  Teams participating in the clinics do not have to count this event in the three permissible scrimmages.

Rules Book Mailing
NFHS Rules Books were mailed to schools on April 10.  Lineup cards were also included in the mailing to athletic directors. Teams are not required to utilize these cards and may use another lineup card for your contests.  Additional books and lineup cards are available for purchase.  Contact Monte Wilson at (515) 401-1837 to order.

On Line Rules Meeting
The 2018 softball rules meeting is available on the IGHSAU website beginning Monday, April 23 after noon.  All coaches are strongly encouraged to view the meeting.  Head varsity coaches are REQUIRED to complete the viewing of the rules by midnight, Friday, May 11.  Your email address and school affiliation must be entered prior to the beginning of the rules meeting.  You will receive via email a certificate of completion within an hour of completing the meeting.

Licensure and Concussion Training
All coaches working for your junior high and high school softball staff (paid and volunteer) must be properly licensed and have completed the annual concussion training.  Individuals are not allowed to "coach" in any capacity either during practice or competition.  Steve Mitchell at the Iowa Board of Education Examiners may be contacted for further information.  His phone is (515) 281-6896 or email him at steve.mitchell@iowa.gov.  The online concussion course is available on the IGHSAU website at:  https://ighsau.org/coaches-administrators/athlete-health-safety/

Double First Base Rule
NFHS Softball Rule 8-10 regarding the double first base is being followed, just as it was in 2017.

Equipment Safety Check
Umpires will no longer be responsible for checking equipment prior to the start of games.  School administrators and coaches are now responsible for ensuring that all softball equipment meets NFHS rules and safety standards.  Rules 7-4-2 and 10-2-3l provide the authority to umpires to penalize for equipment violations.

Wristband Change
NFHS rules regarding wristbands were changed for 2018 under Rule 3-2-7c. Language was added to address the use and placement of the wristband playbook/play card and defines this item as a piece of equipment. It no longer has to match the color of the uniform, but does need to be a single solid color and not optic yellow.  In addition, if utilized as a play card it must be worn on the non-pitching arm

Face Protection
NFHS rules do not mandate facemasks for softball players.  It is permissible by NFHS rules and schools are encouraged to work with players and parents on use of facemasks by infielders.

Ejection Policy
If a coach/player is ejected from a game/match, he/she does not coach/play for the remainder of that game/match. He/She may coach/play in other competition later on that same day. Any sanction issued by the school or State Office will be served on a subsequent date after review of the filed reports.

When a coach is serving a suspension, he/she may not coach and must be out of sight and sound of the contest venue. He/She is not permitted to watch the contest(s) as a spectator unless he/she has a daughter playing in the contest(s). If a player is serving a suspension, she may not be in uniform or participate in the contest(s) or pre-game warm-up, but may be in street clothes on the bench, dugout, etc.

IGHSAU Procedures for ejections are listed on line at:  https://ighsau.org/coaches-administrators/rules-regulations/.

Home Game Administrator
The IGHSAU strongly recommends that all schools have an administrator in place for each home game.  Host managers should identify themselves to the umpires and arrange for escorts on and off the field.  Please notify the officials where the administrator will be located during the games so officials can contact when necessary.  Coaches should not serve as site administrators during home games.

Contact Information

Softball Administrator: Jean Berger 515-401-1832 jeanberger@ighsau.org

Officials/Rules: Cathy Creighton cathy@ighsau.org

Eligibility: Gary Ross 515-401-1842 gross@ighsau.org

QuikStats: Jason Eslinger 515-401-1836 jasoneslinger@ighsau.org

Rule Books/Scorecards: Monte Wilson 515-401-1837 monte@ighsau.org

Arbiter: Sherry Tegtmeier 515-401-1839 sherry@ighsau.org

IGHSAU Toll Free Number:  888-985-6547