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WHEELCHAIR SOFTBALL IS PLAYED UNDER THE OFFICIAL RULES OF 16” SLOW PITCH SOFTBALL AS APPROVED BY THE AMATEUR SOFTBALL ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA, WITH THE FOLLOWING EXCEPTIONS:
National Wheelchair Softball Association (NWSA)
Rules and Regulations of Play
The National Wheelchair Softball Association (NWSA) follows the rules and regulations for 16" softball established by the American Softball Association (ASA) with the following additions, modifications, and deletions:
1. The playing field shall be a level smooth surface of blacktop or similar materials with 150 feet on the foul lines and 180-220 feet to straight center.
2. The official diamond shall have 50 feet between all bases and 70 feet, 8.5 inches from home to 2nd.
3. The pitching stripe extending perpendicularly 1 foot on either side of the diagonal from home to 2nd base shall be located 28 feet from home base.
4. At 2nd base shall be located a 4 feet diameter circle. At 1st and 3rd base, in fair territory, shall be located a 4 feet diameter semicircle. The bases shall be painted white.
5. At 1st base only, the base is extended into foul territory. The extension shall be 24 inches deep and 24 inches wide beginning at he 50-mark and shall be white. This extension may be used by the base runner only as an extended tag area for 1st base.
6. A restraining line shall be marked 12 feet from the bases and parallel to the baselines, which run from 1st base to 2nd base, and from 2nd to 3rd base.
7. A semicircle restraining line shall be marked in the outfield 100 feet from home plate and extend to each foul line.
1. Teams are balanced by the following point system: Quad (any) = 1 point; Class I = 1 point; Class II = 2 points; Class III = 3 points.
Women shall play at one classification less than their NWBA woman division classification. NWSA will use the classification system of the National Wheelchair Basketball Association (NWBA) and the United States Quad Rugby Association (USQRA) to determine point values for players.
2. At no time in a game shall a team have players participating with a total value of points greater than 22.
a. The coach, in placing his/her team’s roster in the official score book before each game, shall place a Roman numeral prominently and in a common line between the player’s disability classifications.
b. The official scorer shall be responsible for seeing that personnel on the field for either team at any given time does not exceed the above balance rule. This will only have to be checked at the beginning of the game and at time of substitutions. No checking of the total value points will be necessary if I substitutes for a I, II, or III; or if a II substitutes for a II or III. It will only be necessary if a III substitutes for a II or a I, or if a II substitutes for a I.
Rules of Play:
1. A team must have the required 10 players, including one or more quads, to start the game.
2. The "Chop Hit" is allowed in the National Wheelchair Softball Association.
3. All participants must be in manual wheelchairs with foot platforms.
4. The defensive baseman and the base runner must touch the circle with one or more wheels in order to tag the base, these wheels include the 1-2 front caster wheels and the two rear wheels. Anti-tip casters are not considered as a wheel.
5. The base runner must be seated in his/her wheelchair and may tag or make contact with the base with either one or more wheels, or may tag the base with his/her hand. If a runner is knocked out of his/her chair, he/she may proceed to the previous or next base by any means other than hopping, walking, or running, and make contact with the base with any part of his/her body. A base runner may not place a lower extremity (waist down) on the ground or someone else’s chair to stop his/her chair. If he/she does, the play is dead will result in a delay dead ball situation.
6. No fielder may advance toward or play the ball with any lower extremity in contact with the ground. A player may return to his/her chair and then advance toward the ball. The infraction will be treated as a delayed dead ball, subject to established ASA rules.
7. The hitter cannot have a lower extremity in contact with the ground when hitting. If he/she does, the ball is dead, the batter is out, and all base runners return to the last base achieved before the illegal at-bat.
8. The ASA rule subject to the EXTRA PLAYER (EP) is not legal in wheelchair softball.
9. All 4 infielders must have at least one wheel on the line or on the infield area side of the restraining line until the ball leaves the pitcher’s hand. If any infielder fails to observe the restraining line rule, the umpire will immediately award the 1st base to the batter. The infraction shall be treated as a walk.
10. All outfielders other than the short fielder must remain behind the outfield restraining line until the pitcher releases the ball during a pitch.
11. Lifting is the act of raising the player's buttock's so that both cheeks are no longer in contact with the seating platform of the wheelchair or the cushion where a cushion is used on the wheelchair in order to gain an unfair advantage. The infraction will be treated as a delayed dead ball subject to established ASA rules.
12. Quad Requirement. At no time in a game shall a team have players participating with a total value of points greater than 22. If a team does not roster a quad or the quad cannot continue, that team will be limited to 19 classification points and an automatic out will be called at the quads original batting position or every tenth batter. If a team rosters a quad, that team is required to have a quad in active play at all times.
All teams are required to have a quadriplegic on their team in active play. This means that when the team is on defense, they must have a quad playing one of those positions. Failure to have a quad take the field will require the team to play a fielder short (i.e., 9 rather than 10 players). When the team is hitting there must be a quad in the batting lineup and bat in the same position throughout the game. Failure to have a quad hit in that position will be an automatic out.
13. Quads can bunt in the National Wheelchair Association, but must inform the umpire before first at bat of quad status during any given game.
14. The player classified as a quad may wear a glove on either or both hands regardless of position (including pitcher).
15. The player classified as a quad may alter their bat to improve the grip. The altered bat must be approved by the head umpire for safety concerns (no sharp or pointed edges, etc.). 16. The player classified as a quad may wear a glove on either or both hands regardless of position (including pitcher).
16.Overthrow. If a pickoff throw results in an overthrow or blocked ball, runners may advance a maximum of one base after retouching the original base. All base-runners may advance at their own risk.
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