Jul 30, 2012 10:33 AM
Beginning next season, batters in high school softball will get be awarded a base when hit by a pitch even if they make no effort to avoid it.
The rule change was approved by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) during its June meeting.
A batter will be awarded first base if "a pitched ball is entirely within the batter's box and it strikes the batter or her clothing. No attempt to avoid being hit by the pitch is required; however, the batter may not obviously try to get hit by the pitch."
NFHS director of sports and officials education and staff liaison for softball Theresia Wynns said the rule change clears up a gray area.
"Since a batter is penalized for prohibiting a pitch from entering the strike zone, the committee thought there should be a penalty when the pitcher hits a batter when the pitch is completely inside the batter's box," she said.