Softball Memo #2                                                                      May 31, 2019

Week One Issues
After the first week of competition, a few issues have surfaced.  Please take a few minutes to re-acquaint yourself with the rules and regulations regarding these items.

Illegal Bat
Please take time to review the information on illegal bats.  We've had several incidents involving the Easton Ghost bat with gold lettering, which was specifically addressed in earlier correspondence.  For future reference, both the head coach and the player are ejected when an illegal bat is utilized during competition.  It is the school's responsibility to check all equipment and make sure they are approved and legal for competition.

Rule 2.4.2, Illegal Bat:
A bat that does not meet the specifications in Rule 1.5 and subject to the penalty as in rule 7.4.2.

Rule 7.4.2, Batter is Out section:
The batter enters the batter's box with an illegal bat or is discovered having used an illegal bat and the infraction is detected before the next legal or illegal pitch (only the umpire of the defense may detect an illegal bat).

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 non-approved bat, the batter and the head coach are also ejected.  Runners would return if they were put out on the play.

Jewelry/Piercings
Jewelry is not permitted by NFHS rule and is treated as illegal equipment.  It must be removed or made legal.  A warning is first issued and then the player and coach are restricted to the dugout/bench for the remainder of the game.

The use of daith piercing for migraine headache relief must be approved by the IGHSAU.  The IGHSAU can approve the piercing apparatus remaining in the ear if a written confirmation from a medical professional is received.  Medical/health care people generally means doctors, nurse practitioners, physician’s assistants, licensed physical therapists, etc.  If approved, the school will be sent a letter which should be provided when requested by the umpires and/or opposing teams throughout the season.

Official Games
Games may not be shortened even if by mutual agreement of coaches.  By rule, the home team must be ahead after 4 ½ innings or the visitor after 5 full innings.  IGHSAU margin-of-runs rules are as follows: a 12-run differential after 3 or 4 innings (2.5 or 3.5 innings if the home team is leading by 12 or more runs) and a 10-run differential rule after 5 or 6 innings (4.5 or 5.5 innings if the home team is leading by 10 or more runs). If weather could be an issue, please consider playing the varsity game first so that it will not be shortened.

If a time limit is placed on games during tournament play and sufficient innings have not been played so the game is official, then tournament procedures should include provisions for completion of the game.

Intentional Walks
As stated earlier in the Iowa Adaptations, the NFHS rule regarding intentional walks is being followed by the IGHSAU and there is NOT an Iowa adaptation requiring that pitches be thrown.

Administrator on Site
Host schools--please remember to inform the visiting team and umpires who the administrator on site is for all softball games.  This person needs to assist umpires when/if weather becomes an issue, including monitoring of lightning strikes.  We have had several reports of baseball games suspended due to lightning while softball games continue in the same complex.  Here is a link to  IGHSAU hazardous weather policies and procedures and a link to guidelines for lightning.

Coaches Contact with Umpires
Coaches may contact umpires regarding a change in status of games, i.e. cancellations or delays, change of venue, time change or game re-scheduling. However, it is NOT permissible for coaches to contact umpires after a game to question a call or ruling.  All rules questions and interpretations should be directed to Cathy Creighton.

Artificial Noisemakers
Artificial noisemakers are not allowed.  We have had several reports of teams beating or using bats on dugout fences, etc. as noisemakers.

Crew Cards
Umpires have been provided with crew cards to fill out and distribute to coaches.  The crew cards identify the umpires working the games so that coaches can complete the on line evaluations.  The cards are not mandatory, but do serve as a good communication device.

Email Notifications
Please make sure up to date email addresses are listed correctly in the IGHSAU on line forms section.  Those listings for coaches, activities directors and administrators are used for email notifications on memos, pairings, weekly ratings and other tournament information. If you are not receiving IGHSAU emails, please send a note to Jason Eslinger at jasoneslinger@ighsau.org.

Final Classifications

Please check your final classification on the IGHSAU website.  Report any discrepancy to Jason Eslinger at the IGHSAU immediately. 

Policy on Statistics Reporting
Member schools must use the online QuikStats Iowa website (www.quikstatsiowa.com) to report statistics for softball. Failure to report statistics by the reporting dates specified below will result in the following penalties:

First Offense – Warning email sent to coach, athletic director, principal, and superintendent. Coach has until 4:30 p.m. two days after reporting date to comply. If statistics still are not updated by 4:30 two days after the reporting date, coach will be suspended for the next scheduled varsity playing date. Coach will also be suspended an additional varsity playing date for each additional day that statistics are not complete.

Second Offense – Suspension email sent to coach, athletic director, principal, and superintendent. Coach is suspended for two varsity playing dates. Coach has until 4:30 p.m. two days after reporting date to comply. Coach will also be suspended an additional varsity playing date for each additional day that statistics are not complete.

Third Offense – Suspension email sent to coach, athletic director, principal, and superintendent. Coach is suspended from coaching in the regional/state tournament. In addition, coach is suspended from coaching any remaining regular season games until statistics reporting is complete.

If you are having trouble with QuikStats, please contact Jason Eslinger at 515-401-1836 or email Jason at jasoneslinger@ighsau.org.

Evaluation of Game Officials
Softball coaches should now evaluate each game's umpires in QuikStats each week while reporting scores and statistics. Each umpire will have four categories for ranking and comments:  Professionalism, Rules Knowledge, Communication and Game Management.  Poor rankings require comment.  The system will ask for the umpires' names.

For questions on the officials' evaluation system in Quikstats, please contact Jason Eslinger at the IGHSAU office, 515-401-1836 or email at jasoneslinger@ighsau.org

Host Schools
The schools who have listed their facilities as being available to host regional softball contests are listed on the IGHSAU website.  Click here to view the list of schools that have applied. Please take some time and double check the dates you have listed to host. If your school is not listed but you would like to be considered for hosting regional softball contests, please go to the online site availability page on the online forms page of the IGHSAU website.  

If your school has not completed a host contract with the IGHSAU, here is a link to the contract.  Please sign and return a copy to Jean Berger at jeanberger@ighsau.org.

State Tournament Schedule
The 2019 State Softball Tournament Schedule can be downloaded by clicking here.  This year's schedule remains the same as 2018.  Teams losing in the quarterfinal round will play one additional game the following day-either Tuesday or Wednesday.  All semi-final round games will be played on Wednesday.  Third and fourth place consolation games are scheduled on Thursday and Friday approximately one hour prior to the championships games.  Championship game times are approximate and could change depending on television.