Rule 3 - Equipment
Sec. 1 OFFICIAL BAT
a. All bats must be listed on the current USA Softball (formerly ASA) or WBSC (formerly ISF ) Approved Bat lists and must also comply with all of the standards in b-k below.
b. Shall be one piece construction, multi-piece permanently assembled or two-piece interchangeable construction. If the bat is designed with interchangeable components, it must meet the following criteria:
- Mating components must have a unique locking key to prevent uncertified equipment combinations in the field.
- All component combinations must meet the same standard as if it were a one-piece bat when combined or a portion of a one-piece bat if separated.
c. Shall be metal, bamboo, plastic, graphite, carbon, magnesium, fibreglass, ceramic, or any other composite material approved by Softball Canada.
d. Can be laminated, but must contain only wood or adhesive and have a clear finish (if finished).
e. Shall be round or three-sided and shall be smooth.
- A tolerance of .079 mm (1/32 in.) is permitted to allow for expansion of the round bat.
- If round, shall not be more 5.72 cm (2 ¼ in.) in diameter at its largest part.
- If three-sided, shall not exceed 5.72 cm (2 ¼ in.) on the hitting surface.
f. Shall not be more than 86.36 cm (34 in.) long, nor exceed 1079.2 g (38 oz.) in weight.
g. Metal Bats
- Metal bats may be angular.
- Shall not have exposed rivets, pins, rough or sharp edges, or any form of exterior fastener that would present a hazard.
- Metal bats shall be free of burrs and cracks.
- Shall not have a wooden handle.
- If not made of one-piece construction with the barrel end closed, shall have a rubber or vinyl plastic or other material insert approved by Softball Canada, firmly secured at the large end of the bat.
a. The insert of the end cap shall be firmly and permanently sealed so it cannot be removed by anyone other than the manufacturer without damaging or destroying the end cap or barrel.
b. The bat barrel shall be free of audible rattles when shaken.
c. The bat barrel shall not have signs of excessive wear.
h. Shall have a safety grip of cork, tape (no smooth, plastic tape), or composition material.
- The safety grip shall not be less than 25.4 cm (10 in.) long; and
- Shall not extend more than 38.1 cm (15 in.) from the small end of the bat.
- Resin, pine tar, or spray substances placed on the safety grip to enhance the grip are permissible on the grip only.
- Tape applied to any bat must be continuously spiralling.
a. It does not have to be a solid layer of tape.
b. It shall not exceed two layers.
i. Shall have a safety knob of a minimum of 0.6 cm (¼ in.) protruding at a 90-degree angle from the handle. It may be moulded, lathed, welded or permanently fastened.
NOTE: A “flare” or “cone” grip attached to the bat will be considered an altered bat.
j. Shall be marked by the manufacturer in a prominent manner so as to be easily visible: “OFFICIAL APPROVED SOFTBALL”, or other notification as may be selected and approved by USA Softball (formerly ASA) or Softball Canada. If the approval notice cannot be read due to wear on the bat, the bat may still be permitted in play if it is in compliance with Softball Canada Rules in all other respects and that compliance is determinable with reasonable certainty.
k. The weight, distribution of weight, or length of the bat must be permanently fixed at the time of manufacture and may not be altered in any way thereafter, except as otherwise specifically provided in Rule 3, Section 1.
Sec. 2 WARM-UP BATS
a. The warm-up bat must be of one-piece construction; and
b. Shall comply with the safety grip and safety knob requirements of the official bat. (See Rule 3, Sec. 1h-i.)
c. It must be marked “warm-up” in 3.2 cm (1 ¼ in.) letters on the barrel end.
d. The barrel end must be in excess of 5.72 cm (2 ¼ in.).
Sec. 3 OFFICIAL SOFTBALL
a. Shall be a regular, smooth-seamed, concealed stitched or flat surfaced ball.
b. Shall have a center core made of either No. 1 quality long fibre kapok, a mixture of cork and rubber, a polyurethane mixture, or other materials approved by Softball Canada.
c. May be hand or machine wound with a fine quality twisted yarn and covered with latex or rubber cement.
d. Shall have a cover cemented to the ball by application of cement to the underside of the cover and sewn with waxed thread of cotton or linen, or shall have a moulded cover bonded to the core or moulded integrally with the core, and have authentic facsimile of stitching, as may be approved by Softball Canada.
e. Shall have a cover of the finest quality No. 1 chrome tanned horsehide or cowhide, made of synthetic material, or made of other materials approved by Softball Canada.
f. Softballs used in Softball Canada play must meet the standards set by Softball Canada and must be stamped with the “Approved by Softball Canada” or “Endorsed by Softball Canada” Logo.
- The completed 12 inch ball shall be between 30.20 cm (11 ⅞ in.) and 30.80 cm (12 ⅛ in.) in circumference, and shall weigh between 178.00 g (6 ¼ oz.) and 198.45 g (7 oz.). The flat seam style shall have not less than 88 stitches in each cover, sewn by the two-needle method.
- The completed 11 inch ball shall be between 27.60 cm (10 ⅞ in.) and 28.30 cm (11 ⅛ in.) in circumference and shall weigh between 166.50 g (5 ⅞ oz.) and 173.64 g (6 ⅛ oz.). The flat seam style shall have not less than 80 stitches in each cover, sewn by the two-needle method.
g. A 12” ball with a COR of .52 or less shall be used in all adult Softball Canada Fast pitch play.
h. An 11” or 12” with a COR of .52 or less shall be used in all Softball Canada Minor divisions. (Refer to Age Categories & Distance Table)
i. The load force required to compress the ball 0.635 cm (0.25 in.) must not exceed 170.1 kg (375 lbs.) when such balls are measured in accordance with the ASTM test method for measuring compression-displacement of softballs, which is endorsed by Softball Canada.
Listed below are the standards established for each ball:
|11"||27.60 cms (10 7/8")||28.30 cms (11 1/8")||166.50 g (5 7/8 oz.)||173.64 g (6 1/8 oz.)|
|12"||30.20 cms (11 7/8")||30.80 cms (12 1/8")||178.00 g (6 1/4 oz.)||198.45 g (7 oz.)|
Note: Imperial to metric measurements are rounded out to one decimal.
Sec. 4 GLOVES & MITT/TRAPPER
a. Any player may wear a glove but only the catcher or the first baseman may wear a mitt/trapper.
b. No top lacing, webbing, or other device between the thumb and body of the glove or mitt/trapper worn by a first baseman or catcher or a glove worn by any fielder, shall be more than 12.7 cm (5 in.) in length.
c. The pitcher’s glove may be any combination of colours, providing none of the colours (including the lacing) are the colour of the ball. Gloves worn by any player other than the pitcher may be any combination of colours.
EFFECT – Sec. 4c Failure to remove an illegal glove when asked by the umpire will result in the removal of the pitcher in violation. This is not an appeal play.
d. Gloves with white, grey, or yellow optic circles on the outside, giving the appearance of a ball, are illegal for all players. (See Drawing and Specifications)
A) Palm width (top) 20.32 cm (8 in.)
B) Palm width (bottom) 21.59 cm (8 ½ in.)
C) Top opening of web 12.7 cm (5 in.)
D) Bottom opening of web 11.43 cm (4 ½ in.)
E) Web top to bottom 18.42 cm (7 ¼ in.)
F) 1st finger crotch seam 19.05 cm (7 ½ in.)
G) Thumb crotch seam 19.05 cm (7 ½ in.)
H) Crotch seam 44.45 cm (17 ½ in.)
I) Thumb top to bottom edge 23.5 cm (9 ¼ in.)
J) 1st finger top to bottom edge 35.56 cm (14 in.)
K) 2nd finger top to bottom edge 33.66 cm (13 ¼ in.)
L) 3rd finger top to bottom edge 31.12 cm (12 ¼ in.)
M) 4th finger top to bottom edge 27.94 cm (11 in.)
Sec. 5 SHOES
a. All players and on field managers/coaches must wear shoes.
b. A shoe shall be considered official if it is fully enclosed and is made with canvas or leather uppers or similar materials.
c. The soles may be either smooth or have soft or hard rubber cleats.
d. Ordinary metal sole and heel plates may be used if the spikes on the plates do not extend more than 2.0 cm (3/4 in.) from the sole or heel of the shoe.
e. Shoes with rounded metal spikes are illegal.
f. Shoes with rubber detachable cleats that screw onto the shoe are not allowed; however, shoes with detachable cleats that screw into the shoe are allowed.
g. U16 and Under Youth/Minor Division Players and Coaches:
- No metal cleats are allowed in any division at any level of play.
- Hard plastic, nylon or polyurethane spikes similar to a metal sole and heel plate are not allowed in any division at any level of play.
- Shoes with rubber detachable cleats that screw onto the shoe are not allowed; however, shoes with detachable cleats that screw into the shoe are allowed.
EFFECT – Sec. 5: Failure to remove illegal shoes when asked by the umpire will result in the removal of the player or coach in violation.
Sec. 6 PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT
a. MASKS All catchers must wear masks, throat protector and helmet.
- Catchers (or other members of either team) must wear a mask, throat protector and helmet while receiving warm-up pitches anywhere on or near the playing field or in the warm-up area prior to and during the game.
- An extended wire protection attached to the mask can be worn in lieu of the throat protector.
- The ice hockey goalie style facemask is approved for use by catchers provided the model being used has not been disapproved by Softball Canada because of failure to meet safety standards and/or lack of protection in the throat area.
- If there is no throat protector built onto the mask, the throat attachment must be added to the mask before using.
- If the person catching for the pitcher will not wear the mask, after a warning, he will be removed from the game.
- If the person catching for the pitcher is anyone other than a team member and will not wear the mask after a warning, it shall mean the removal of the coach or manager of offending team.
b. PROTECTIVE FACE MASKS
- Any defensive or offensive player can wear an approved face mask/guard.
- Face masks/guards that are cracked or deformed, or if padding has deteriorated or is missing, are prohibited from use and must be removed from the game.
- Fast Pitch catchers cannot wear the plastic face mask/guard in place of the regular mask with throat protector.
- Pitchers in the U12 and below categories are required to wear a protective face mask.
c. BODY PROTECTORS Adult female catchers and all youth/minor catchers must wear a body protector.
d. SHIN GUARDS Youth/minor catchers must wear shin guards that will offer protection to the kneecap.
e. ATHLETIC SUPPORT All (male and female) youth/minor catchers must wear an athletic support with protective cup.
EFFECT – Sec 6b-e: Failure to wear the appropriate equipment after a warning will result in the removal of the player.
1. Helmets are mandatory for:
b. On-deck batters,
f. Youth age players who coach in the first and third base coach’s box.
NOTE: A youth age coach registered only as a coach is not required to wear a helmet when coaching in the coach’s box.
g. Youth age representatives that participate as a batboy or batgirl while on the field or in the dugout.
EFFECT – Sec. 6-f-1: The following rule applies to the removal of a helmet.
- Players shall be called out immediately under the following circumstances:
a. Failing to wear a helmet when ordered to do so by the umpire.
EXCEPTION: On-deck batters, youth age players in the coach’s box or catchers, who will be removed from the game after a warning.
b. Deliberately wearing the helmet improperly.
c. Deliberately removing the helmet during a live ball play, except a home run hit over the fence or a bases loaded walk.
- The ball shall be ruled dead if:
a. A thrown or batted ball hits the discarded helmet.
b. A defensive player makes contact with the intentionally removed helmet.
NOTE – Effect 2a-b:
- The ball shall not be declared dead if the contact is deemed deliberate.
- When the ball is declared dead in 2a and/or 2b, all runners will return to the last base touched at the time of the dead ball declaration.
2. Any defensive player or coach may wear a cap or an approved helmet of identical colour to the team caps.
a. A helmet for defensive purposes does not require earflaps.
3. Helmets that are broken, cracked, dented, or illegally altered are prohibited and must be removed from the game.
4. For U16 and below, all on-deck batters, batters and baserunners must have an attached face mask.
Sec. 7 EQUIPMENT ON PLAYING FIELD
No equipment shall be left lying on the field, either in fair or foul territory.
EFFECT – Sec. 7:
- The ball is dead, for offensive team equipment causing a blocked ball (and creating interference).
a. The player being played on is out.
b. If no apparent play is obvious, no runner will be called out, but all runners will return to the last base touched at the time of the dead ball declaration.
- For defensive team equipment causing a blocked ball, the runners are awarded:
a. One base from the time of the pitch on a pitched ball.
b. Two bases from the last base touched at the time of the throw.
c. Two bases from the last base touched at the time of the pitch on a batted ball.
Sec. 8 UNIFORM
All players on a team shall wear uniforms alike in colour, trim and style. Reference to coach’s uniform is found under Rule 4, Section 1b.
EXCEPTION: Players and coaches, for religious reasons, may be permitted to wear specific head covering and apparel that does not conform to the standard uniform requirements without penalty.
NOTE: For safety reasons, players must wear helmets as and when required under the rules. The above exception does not preclude a player from having to wear a helmet as required under the rules.
a. The uniform must be properly worn.
- Shirts must be tucked in.
- Sleeves may not be rolled up.
- Ball caps must be alike and are mandatory for all male players and must be worn properly.
- Caps, visors, and headbands are optional for female players but can be mixed. If more than one type is worn, they all must be alike in colour and each of the same type must be of the same colour and style. Plastic or hard visors are not allowed.
- If a coach wears a cap, it must be approved headwear.
EXCEPTION: Should a defensive player elect to wear a defensive fielding mask, that player may turn their cap backwards to accommodate wearing both cap and mask.
- Players may wear a uniform with a solid coloured undershirt (it may be white).
- It is not mandatory that all players wear an undershirt, but those that are worn must be alike.
- No player may wear ragged, frayed, or slit sleeves on exposed undershirts.
d. PANTS/SLIDING PANTS
- All player pants shall be either all long or all short in style.
- Players may wear a solid colour pair of sliding pants or pads.
- It is not mandatory that all players wear sliding pants or pads, but if more than one player wears them, they must be alike in colour and style except temporary, snap-on or Velcro sliding pads.
- No players may wear ragged, frayed or slit legs on exposed sliding pants or pads.
- An Arabic number of contrasting colour at least 15.2 cm (6 in.) high, must be worn on the back of all uniform shirts.
- No manager, coach, or player on the same team may wear identical numbers. (Numbers 1 and 01 are examples of identical numbers.)
- Only whole numbers 00 to 99 shall be used (maximum of 2 digits).
- Players without numbers will not be permitted to play.
- There is no penalty for a player wearing a wrong number. Correct the number in the scorebook and continue play.
- There is no penalty for duplicate numbers.
EFFECT – Sec. 8e Note 2: One player must change his jersey or a substitute, wearing a different number, must enter the game for one of the players with duplicate numbers.
Individual names may be worn above the numbers on the back of all uniform shirts.
EFFECT – Sec. 8: If a player refuses to remove illegal parts of a uniform or fails to wear the appropriate uniform when requested by the plate umpire, the player shall be removed from the game.
Sec. 9 MEDICAL APPARATUS / CASTS
a. Casts (plaster, metal or other hard substances in its final form) may not be worn in a game.
b. Any exposed metal or hard material on a brace (other than a cast) may be considered legal if adequately covered by a soft material, taped and approved by the umpire.
EXCEPTION: Wheelchairs, crutches and braces in the coaching boxes.
EFFECT – Sec.9: A player wearing a cast or exposed metal will be removed from the game.
Sec. 10 DISTRACTING ADORNMENTS
No exposed items (including jewelry) judged by the umpire to be distracting to opposing players may be worn or displayed. The umpire shall require the item to be removed or covered. Medical alert bracelets and/or necklaces, if deemed to be distracting, shall be required to be taped to the body in such a manner that the medical alert information is visible.
EFFECT – Sec. 10. If a player is requested by the umpire to remove jewellery and they refuse, the player will be removed from the game and ruled ineligible.
Sec. 11 ALL EQUIPMENT
Notwithstanding the foregoing, Softball Canada reserves the right to withhold or withdraw approval of any equipment which, in Softball Canada’s sole determination, significantly changes the character of the game, affects the safety of participants or spectators, or renders a player’s performance more a product of his equipment rather than his individual skill.