2023 rule changes by organization are provided below. Access each tab to see the updates per organization.
View the 2023 NFHS rules changes on the National Federation website.
1-4-1: Removes the number of color restrictions on a glove, including laces and seams, and does not allow any panels of the glove to match the color of the ball.
Rationale: Gloves and mitts are manufactured in variety of designs and multiple colors. As long as the color of the ball is not one of the colors used, does not have markings that give the appearance of the ball or are made in a manner that is judged distracting by the umpire it is permitted for use in NFHS Softball.
3-2-12, 3-6-11: Removes language prohibiting the wearing of jewelry.
Rationale: Removing the language prohibiting jewelry places the softball rules in line with other NFHS sports that have removed the restriction. Umpires still have the authority to rule on anything that is considered a distraction or increases risk to any player.
2-20-1g: A fair ball is a batted ball that while over fair territory, an offensive player interferes with a defensive player attempting to field a batted ball.
Rationale: The ball’s status is determined at the point of interference. If an offensive player interferes with the defensive player while the ball is in fair territory, the ball is dead. Adding this language to the definition section mirrors the foul ball definition in Rule 2-25-1e.
4-2-1: Defines the protocol for when a fair batted ball clears the home run fence to end the game. All runs are allowed to score before the game is terminated.
Rationale: Allows for all runs to be counted when a fair batted ball clears the home run fence to end the game. All runs scored by virtue of the home run will be included in individual and team statistics.
8-2-7: New language clarifies batter-runner interference on a fly ball over foul territory.
Rationale: This has always been the enforcement but was not listed in the section covering batter-runner. The language is consistent with the rule covering interference on an initial play on a fair-batted ball and aligns with Rule 8-6-10.
Editorial changes are written as the new rule reads. Changes to the language from the previous year are in bold.
2-25-1e, 7-1-2 PENALTY 1, 7-4-1, 7-4-11, 8-1-1 EFFECTS 2, 8-4-3d
2023 SOFTBALL POINTS OF EMPHASIS
- Time Between Innings
- Jewelry and Electronic Communication
- Comparable Drying Agents