Detailed Analysis of the 2022-2023 Rule Book

Contents (page 3)
  • New: Significant Editorial Changes and Appendix G Video Review
  • Appendixes should be spelled Appendices (plural Appendixes is for anatomical meaning)
  • Combined previous Appendix C and D into new Appendix C: Barrel Compression Testing
Major Rule Changes

17 listed; 9 listed in 2020-21

Significant Editorial Changes

8 listed; did not have any listed in 2020-21. See page 7 for list. They are included in their respective rules below.

Rule 1 Definitions

No changes

Rule 2 Field of Play Fences: for new construction – recommended distance of 200’ in left and right fields.
2.16.2 Foul Pole: recommended height 40’; was 20’

Rule 3 Equipment and Uniforms

3.2 Ball: for 2024 maximum compression 275-375 pounds
3.10.3 renamed from Insignias and numbers to Numbers; moved the first sentence of the previous 3.10.3 to new 3.10.4.
3.10.4 (Editorial) Optional uniform markings – new and has details for all optional markings – institution, conference, flags, commemorative/memorial patches, etc.; includes size regulations.

Rule 4

No changes.

Rule 5

5.2 BCT: rewritten; required before start of each tournament, series, double-header, or single mid-week game. What about a single game played on Saturday or Sunday? This is a new rule (required now at all sites, was “…at sites where…”)
5.9.9 Video review is permitted as outlined in Appendix G. Rules for coach challenges and crew chief initiating reviews.

Rule 6

6.5.3 Positions of Offensive Team: changed wording to “…except for those directly involved in the situation…” (was “…the base coaches, batter, base runner(s) and on-deck batter…”
Added new sentence “These restrictions also apply during stoppages of play, including conferences, pitching changes, substitutions and injuries.”
6.6.5 Positions of Defensive Teams: extended first sentence with: “…and during stoppages of play, including conferences, pitching changes, substitutions and injuries.” Added :Exception: Personnel directly involved in the stoppage of play (e.g.), coaches, medical personnel, substitutes, etc.) are permitted to be out of the dugout, bullpen or team area.
Effects for offensive and defensive teams’ violations of between inning warmups
• Offensive – team warning; next violation, eject head coach
• Defensive – no mention of team warning; second – ball on batter; third – head coach ejected.
6.7 Time Between Innings
Rule heading changed from Media Format. 6.7.1 is basically the same except the change from 2 minutes to 90 seconds and removed all conference rules. No changes to and (Editorial) adds illegally batted ball.
6.12 Conferences
Slight change to definition of a charged conference. Previously there were two types of charged conferences – team representatives or team-representative and players. They have added “…or players and players to confer.”
Rest of 6.12 reorganized:
Added 3 new sub-rules
• 6.12.1 Each team is allowed seven charged conferences involving team representatives (defensive and offensive combined) per regulation game.
• 6.12.2 Each team is allowed seven charged player-to-player conferences not involving team representatives per regulation game.
• 6.12.3 Each team is allowed one charged conference involving team representatives and one charged player-to-player conference per half inning for each extra inning. Any remaining conferences from regulation do not carry over into extra innings.
Because of these additions:
• Previous 6.12.1 is now 6.12.4 and includes important wording: 1) added “…involving team representatives; and 2) added new sentence: “Runners may not vacate their bases during player-to-player conferences charged to the defense.”
• Previous 6.12.2 is now 6.12.5 with no changes
• Previous 6.12.3 is now 6.12.6 with no changes, including the Exception and Note.
Other changes
Previous 6.12.4 Charged Defensive Conferences is now 6.12.7.
• added wording to second sentence “…and this additional defensive conference counts toward the total conferences allowed in rule 6.12.1. Also added Exception: In extra innings, the defense is only entitled to one defensive conference, regardless of pitching changes.
• Effect for 6.12.7 to has added wording covering the seven combined conferences.
• Previous 6.12.5 Charged Offensive Conferences is now 6.12.8
• Effect for 6.12.8 to has added wording covering the seven combined conferences. Also, changed wording “…per inning…” to “…in any half inning…”
6.19.9 Charged player-to-player conference. New! Highlights:
• There may be only two charged player-to-player conferences per team per half inning in regulations innings. A team could reach their limit in 4 half-innings (2 each on defense and offense in 3 innings plus one in another half-inning.
• It begins when the game is delayed to deliver a message to the player(s) and ends when the player(s) return to their positions.
• Base runners may not abandon the vicinity of their bases without it being a charged conference
• The team representative(s) or player(s) who initiates an unallowed conference shall be immediately ejected.

Rule 7

No changes

Rule 8

8.5.2 Pitcher substitution. Added “(see also Rule 10.19) and its Effect deleted (five warmup pitches) and its Effect deleted (relief pitcher not entitled to warmup pitches if she returns to pitch in the same inning.
Consequently, previous is not
8.6. New title Reentry and Concussion Reentry; was Reentry

Rule 9

9.1. (Editorial) Added “…or it will be charged as a player-to-player conference.” This changes the rule as the Effect has been completely rewritten: The umpire shall charge the team with a player-to-player conference. Another example of a rule change that is called an editorial change (defn: changes mostly concerning the styles used in the document; include grammar, punctuation, etc.
9.5.3 (Obstruction) Effect ( to – last paragraph, wording changed to “…declared out …”. It was “…and although the runner is declared safe on the obstruction call…”

Rule 10

10.1.1 Pitching Position…
Put all the requirements into a.b.c, etc. Pivot foot must still be within the 24 inch length; stride foot may not be entirely outside the 24 inch length.
10.10.5 (Editorial) added wording…changes the rule – was a “no pitch” but now changed to a dead ball strike. See
10.14 Intentionally pitching at a batter or umpire Effect. Deleted “and catcher” from “pitcher and catcher”. Added “and/or catcher” to the next sentence about the coach. Eliminates the requirement that the catcher be automatically ejected.
10.19 Warmup pitches. Previous heading was Warmup Pitches Allowed
• 10.19.2. New wording “…any number of warmup pitches…” Was “nor more than five pitches…” Added “…during the time allowed” and deleted “…or any combination that is limited to five throws from the pitcher.”
• 10.19.3 Added “…not necessitated by an injury to the replaced pitcher.” Deleted “…or any combination that is limited to five throws from the pitcher.” And reorganized:
o Added new If media goes to a break during a pitching change, a relief pitcher is allowed to throw any number of warmup pitches during the break but must be ready when the plate umpire calls “play ball.”
o was 10.19.5
o was 10.19.6
o was the last sentence to 10.19.3
• Effect rewritten to cover 10.19.2 to; it merges the two previous Effects by adding the previous 10.19.4 and its Effect to it.

Rule 11

11.2.5 Legal Position in Batter’s Box Effect. Rule did not change, only the effect. Dead ball changed to delayed dead ball and the result is a strike, not an out. The coach of the defensive team can choose either the result of the play or the standard effect for illegal contact, which is a strike on the batter and all base runners must return to the base legally occupied at the time of the pitch. If it is the third strike, the batter is out.
11.4.8 Effect (Editorial)
Switched 11.4.7 with 11.4.8 and added new Effect for 11.4.8. Had to correct the ruling for interference while batted ball is in fair territory. Previously the Effect was for all above – ball is live; new Effect after 11.4.8 has correct ruling – the ball is dead.
11.11.2 (Editorial) Added “…or their glove/mitt and there is unintentional contact between the ball and the discarded bat or batter-runner.
11.12.4 (Editorial).
Added wording “…nor intentionally with the bat (discarded or in their hands)….” Added wording “…or by a pitch that does not reach the plate but would have been in the strike zone had it not hit the batter. Was a “no pitch” but now changed to a dead ball strike. Rules 10.10.5,, and have been reworded to clarify this situation.
11.15 Illegally Batted Ball. Same exact Effect as 11.2.5
11.20.3 Batter Interference. Deleted word “Exception” The Exception had “dead ball” which was also deleted. This was not listed as a Major Rule Change or Significant Editorial Change, but it does change the rule from dead ball to delayed dead ball.
11.20.4 Note. Added “…or catcher”; changed to delayed dead-ball strike from being a dead-ball strike, giving the defensive team a choice of the result of the play or dead-ball strike.

Rule 12 Collision. New wording “…flagrantly with a fielder regardless if the fielder has possession of the ball.” Was “…into a defensive player holding the ball and waiting to apply a tag.” Effect was changed: 1) “crashes” changed to “collides.” 2) after fielder “holding the ball” was deleted. 3) “flagrant” changed to “flagrant/malicious” 4) added “…the ball is dead and the runner is declared out…” 5) added last sentence “Any runners not declared out must return to the bases(s) occupied at the time of the deliberate collision.”
12.13 to 12.13.5 reorganized. 12.13.2 was 12.13.4; 12.13.3 was 12.13.5; 12.13.4 was 12.13.2; 12.13.5 was 12.13.3.
12.13.3. Clarified out of baseline by adding “(i.e. the runner cannot reach the base)…”.
12.13.3 Effect. Added “The umpire has the option to issue a team warning when this behavior is not egregious enough to warrant an ejection. The umpire may also rule interference if this contact prevents the defensive player from making another play.” (Editorial) – added word “…intentionally…”. Confirms Note. Added “In addition, the runner may not intentionally distract or run at any fielder in an effort to distract them while not making an attempt to run directly to the base. A warning will be issued to the player. This pertains to any defensive player regardless if the defensive player is the one making a play on the ball. If the defensive player is making a play on the ball, interference also will be called.

Rule 13

13.2.3. Added “…pregame or…” and “…from the time the umpires arrive at the competition site until the umpires leave the competition site.” Previously only a post-game ejection could be given and only after the last out of the game and before the umpires leave the confines of the field. Now it can be given at any time from the umpires’ arrival until they leave the site. So, if approached in the parking lot before or after, or on the way from cars to locker room, or in the locker room, or going to their cars, etc.
13.3. Was 13.8 and Verbal was removed from title.
13.4 to 13.8 moved from 13.3 to 13.7

Rule 14

No changes

Appendix Section

• New Appendix C – Barrel Compression Testing (replaces previous Appendix C and D)
• New Appendix D – Umpire Signals (replaces previous Appendix E)
• New Appendix E – Lightning Policy (replaces previous Appendix F)
• New Appendix F – Video, Audio or Matrix Boards (replaces previous Appendix G)
• Appendix G -Video Review is new
• Appendixes H and I unchanged