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Old Fri Jun 28, 2019, 08:18am
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NFHS Rule Change - Bats

A damaged bat will now be defined as a bat that was once legal, but is broken, cracked, dented, rattles or has sharp edges that might deface the ball (Rules 1-5-1, 7-4-2, 2-4-3).

Previously, a damaged bat was considered an illegal bat, with the penalty being an out when the batter entered the batter’s box. Now, damaged bats are simply removed from the game without penalty.

“This rule defines damaged bats and distinguishes them from non-approved and altered bats,” said Sandy Searcy, NFHS director of sports and liaison to the NFHS Softball Rules Committee. “The committee clarified the course of action that should be taken when a damaged bat is discovered in the game.”

Additionally, in Rule 1-5-1, the USA Softball All Games certification mark is now acceptable on bats. The new mark is in addition to the current ASA 2000 and ASA 2004 certification marks. Bats must bear one of these three marks and must not be listed on USA Softball’s Non-Approved Bats With Certification Marks, a list that is available on www.usasoftball.com.

“Bats bearing the 2000 and 2004 certification marks are still permissible, provided they meet specifications in Rule 1-5-1 and do not appear on USA Softball’s Non-Approved Bats with Certification Marks list,” Searcy said.
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Old Fri Jun 28, 2019, 11:27am
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Logic when making high school rules? I don't believe it.

Since we don't check bats any more, it's going to have to be pretty damn damaged for me to catch this on the field.
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Old Fri Jun 28, 2019, 09:56pm
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Full article from the NFHS Web Site: (Link) (Archive)
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Old Tue Jul 02, 2019, 12:39pm
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This rule would have come in handy for me recently....

HS Playoff game, I'm PU.

Batter hits a ground ball to F6, fields and throws to first for the out. When the batter dropped the bat after the hit, I thought I heard something when it hit the ground. After the play, I picked up the bat, shook it and heard all kinds of rattling. I called the coach over, showed him the bat, shook it and asked him to put it away and not use it any longer.

Had this rule been in place, no issues. Since I didn't hear any rattling while the player was at bat, I didn't feel justified in applying the illegal bat penalty.
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Old Tue Jul 02, 2019, 12:52pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy View Post
Since I didn't hear any rattling while the player was at bat, I didn't feel justified in applying the illegal bat penalty.
Agree.
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Old Tue Jul 02, 2019, 12:57pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy View Post
This rule would have come in handy for me recently....

HS Playoff game, I'm PU.

Batter hits a ground ball to F6, fields and throws to first for the out. When the batter dropped the bat after the hit, I thought I heard something when it hit the ground. After the play, I picked up the bat, shook it and heard all kinds of rattling. I called the coach over, showed him the bat, shook it and asked him to put it away and not use it any longer.

Had this rule been in place, no issues. Since I didn't hear any rattling while the player was at bat, I didn't feel justified in applying the illegal bat penalty.
If I read correctly. you did exactly what the rule says, without needing it.
Although, the rule says " when the batter entered the batter’s box." in the comment, not in the rule itself. Hopefully the published rule book will not be ambiguous.
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Old Wed Jul 03, 2019, 01:56pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy View Post
This rule would have come in handy for me recently....

HS Playoff game, I'm PU.

Batter hits a ground ball to F6, fields and throws to first for the out. When the batter dropped the bat after the hit, I thought I heard something when it hit the ground. After the play, I picked up the bat, shook it and heard all kinds of rattling. I called the coach over, showed him the bat, shook it and asked him to put it away and not use it any longer.

Had this rule been in place, no issues. Since I didn't hear any rattling while the player was at bat, I didn't feel justified in applying the illegal bat penalty.
Actually, it is what you should have already been doing in the situation you offered since it wasn't discovered until the bat hit the ground since the argument could be made that is when the damaged occurred.
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Old Sun Jul 07, 2019, 10:13pm
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Originally Posted by IRISHMAFIA View Post
Actually, it is what you should have already been doing in the situation you offered since it wasn't discovered until the bat hit the ground since the argument could be made that is when the damaged occurred.
I agree. What I have always been told (both at the HS and USA level) is that if you find a bat is dented, cracked or otherwise damaged and it has been used by the batter to contact the ball during the at-bat, you assume the damage occurred during the AB. This simply saved a lot of problems for the umpire and eliminated the argument it became damaged during the AB.

The problem comes in if it is noticed during an AB and the bat never contacted anything during the AB.

An example of this happened at a HS game a friend was working. Batter enters the box and takes her position. First pitch is not swung at as it is way outside. The batter steps back and takes a couple practice swings. The catcher hears something rattling during the swing, as does the PU. The PU calls time as the catcher is questioning the bat. The umpire asks to see the bat and when he gets it he can immediately tell it is rattling significantly.

What does the umpire do in this situation. There was no trauma to the bat during that batters at-bat.

He made her put it away and get another bat, which created a big argument from both coaches.
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Old Tue Jul 09, 2019, 06:47pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chapmaja View Post
An example of this happened at a HS game a friend was working. Batter enters the box and takes her position. First pitch is not swung at as it is way outside. The batter steps back and takes a couple practice swings. The catcher hears something rattling during the swing, as does the PU. The PU calls time as the catcher is questioning the bat. The umpire asks to see the bat and when he gets it he can immediately tell it is rattling significantly.

What does the umpire do in this situation. There was no trauma to the bat during that batters at-bat.

He made her put it away and get another bat, which created a big argument from both coaches.
Isn't that an out for an illegal bat?
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Old Wed Jul 10, 2019, 02:02pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CecilOne View Post
Isn't that an out for an illegal bat?
It should have been if the game was played under NFHS rules. A team warning would also be issued.
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Old Thu Jul 11, 2019, 08:34am
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Originally Posted by Manny A View Post
It should have been if the game was played under NFHS rules. A team warning would also be issued.
If it was played in 2019 or earlier, the Illegal bat penalty is ejection of player and coach.

I personally like the rule change, for this reason.
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Old Thu Jul 11, 2019, 10:27am
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Originally Posted by Big Slick View Post
If it was played in 2019 or earlier, the Illegal bat penalty is ejection of player and coach.

I personally like the rule change, for this reason.
From NFHS 7-4-2

PENALTY: The ball is dead immediately. All runners must return to the base occupied at the time of the pitch. When the illegal bat is an altered or nonapproved bat, the batter and head coach are also ejected. Runners would not return if they were put out on the play.

That seems to read that if the bat is illegal, but not altered or nonapproved, that it would just be an out.
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Old Thu Jul 11, 2019, 02:14pm
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You are correct. There are now (starting in 2019-2020 season) three different actions for bats in NFHS:
1) Damaged-remove the bat from the game with no penalty.
2) Illegal-Batter is out, remove the bat from the game
3) Altered or nonapproved- batter is out, remove the bat from the game, batter and head coach are also ejected.

Actions 2 &3 are unchanged from last year the only difference is the addition of action 1.
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Old Thu Jul 11, 2019, 03:55pm
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While we are at this, a slight tangent; USA and NFHS rules.

Altered - changed from how it was manufactured
Approved - on the USA list
Non-approved - not on the approved list, currently on the "banned" list

Illegal - was approved, not on banned list; now not "within specs"; including damaged but not altered.

1) Is there another possibility or are all "illegal" bats, in the sense of just an out, as defined as Illegal above?

2) How does a bat go from approved to illegal other than damage?
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Last edited by CecilOne; Sat Jul 13, 2019 at 07:10am.
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Old Fri Jul 12, 2019, 09:42am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tru_in_Blu View Post
From NFHS 7-4-2

PENALTY: The ball is dead immediately. All runners must return to the base occupied at the time of the pitch. When the illegal bat is an altered or nonapproved bat, the batter and head coach are also ejected. Runners would not return if they were put out on the play.

That seems to read that if the bat is illegal, but not altered or nonapproved, that it would just be an out.
I stand corrected. And it seems silly that by (previous) definition that bats were legal or illegal, then having two tiers of illegal under 7 4 2 but not under the definitions (I know they mention these two types of illegal under 2 4 1 and 2 4 2, but they should be called nonapproved and altered under the definitions and penalties).

Like I said, this is a good change.
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