There are two articles in the Locker Room, both in this section (Rules Corner/Pitching), which deal with the subjects found in rule 10.13 – Substance on the Ball/Items on the Pitcher. You should also read Substances on the Ball.
Substance on pitcher’s hands or items on body
Drying agents, such as rosin, may be used on the pitcher’s hand/fingers. Any substance (e.g. rosin, dirt or saliva) applied to the pitcher’s hands and fingers must be wiped off if it will transfer to the ball. Substances that do not transfer to the ball (e.g. Gorilla Gold, mighty grip, cold, air, etc.) do not have to be wiped off.
College has a unique rule for the rosin bag – if a pitcher brings a resin bag (rule uses this phrase but a more accurate one is “rosin bag” (see article Substances on the Ball) to the pitching circle, she is responsible for removing it each half-inning as she leaves the field. Another defensive player, while exiting the field after the half-inning, may assist this without penalty. If there is a change in pitchers during the half-inning, and the new pitcher plans to use the same rosin bag, it does not have to be removed by the pitcher who brought it onto the field. The new pitcher now has that responsibility.
Items on body
The pitcher shall not wear any item on the pitching fingers, hand, wrist, forearm or thighs that an umpire considers distracting. This includes a batting glove, sweatband, loose lacing on a glove, or ball-colored logos. The pitcher’s fingers, hand, wrist, forearm or elbow may be taped for injury, providing such tape is neutral in color. Pitchers may wear braces, casts, elbow guards, prostheses or splints on their pitcher arms. It must be well padded to protect not only the affected player, but also her opponents (example – pitcher covering home plate after a wild pitch). The Effect for violating this rule: the player shall remove the item upon request of the umpire or be ejected from the game.
Once in while we may encounter a pitcher with some other device or item on the pitching arm. Once such example is K-tape (see the picture). K-tape is advertised as elastic sports tape which relieves pain and supports muscles, tendons, & ligaments. It falls into the category of tape for injury. If you see this K-tape on a pitcher’s arm, and it is not neutral in color, tell the coach to either cover it up or remove it (see the Case Book ruling below)!
Case book rulings:
• Can a pitcher use rock rosin as long as she wipes it off? No. Chemists claim this product will always leave residue, so the pitcher is not allowed to put rock rosin.
• Most pitchers will wipe their pitching hand on their uniform pants after using a rosin bag or touching the dirt. She is not restricted to using her pants to wipe the residue off. She can touch another part of her uniform or body.
• The pitcher starts a game with blue K-tape on her pitching arm. The plate umpire notices it and tells the coach to either cover the arm with an undergarment or remove the tape. When the NCAA softball interpreter was presented with this situation, she confirmed she could not consider the blue tape as neutral; she suggested if she had sleeves that matched her team-mates, she could wear the sleeves.