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University of Texas at Austin
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Softball Contact Info

Assistant Athletic Director:
Brandy Belk

Email:
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Department Phone:
512-471-5883

Department Fax:
512-471-6589

State Champions

Softball Regular Season

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Regular Season

Practice Regulations 

Practice Regulations - During the School Year.

In-Season Practice Regulations - When School is in Session - Individual & Team Sports 

  • Eight-Hour Practice Rule – School districts shall adopt policies limiting extracurricular activities from the beginning of the school week through the end of the school week (excluding holidays) by limiting practice outside the school day to a maximum of eight hours per school week per activity.

IN-Season Practice Regulations - When School is NOT in Session - Team Sports

  • The maximum length of any single practice session is three hours. 
  • Student-athletes shall not engage in more than five hours of practice activities on those days during which more than one practice is conducted. 
  • Schools shall not schedule more than one practice on consecutive days and student-athletes shall not participate in multiple practices on consecutive days. Exception: Volleyball. 
  • On days when more than one practice is conducted, there shall be, at a minimum, two hours of rest/recovery time between the end of one practice and the beginning of the next practice.
  • What counts towards practice time? Actual on-court practice, sport specific skill instruction, mandatory conditioning, water breaks and rest breaks.
  • What doesn’t count? Meetings, weight training*, film study, injury treatment and voluntary conditioning. *Cannot be done during the two-hour rest between the two practices.

Sundays. A League participant school shall not participate in any athletic contest or conduct any practice, or teach any plays, formations, or skills on Sunday.

  • Violation. Any showing of films to, or meetings of athletes for the purpose of instructions or reviewing of plays, formations, or skills in any sport will be construed as a violation.
  • Coaches Sunday Meetings. This does not prevent coaches from meeting on Sunday or from viewing films or planning an instructional program, provided that no athletes are involved in this meeting.

Contest Scheduling Rules

Contest Scheduling Rules.

The following section combines State Law, State Board of Education regulations, and UIL rules regarding scheduling and participation in a contest.    

  • One contest per school week: According to State Board of Education mandates, students may only participate on one day per activity during the school week. School districts shall ensure no more than one contest or performance per activity is scheduled per student. 
  • *Exception: Tournaments and post-season competition may be scheduled as an exception to the school week limit. As well, district varsity contests postponed by weather or public disaster, provided that they are rescheduled and played on the next available date, other than Sunday, on which another district match is not scheduled.  Junior varsity, freshman and junior high teams may not play postponed matches as an exception.
    • Junior varsity, freshman and junior high teams may not play postponed matches as an exception. 
    • District varsity games that are postponed by weather or public disaster, and not played on the next available date, shall be rescheduled and played on a date determined by the District Executive Committee, but may not be made up as an exception to the school week limitation.
  • TEA and Participation: The Texas Education Agency defines participation as being involved with the activity, traveling with the team, or sitting on the bench. Example:  On a Tuesday night, the student’s name is on the scorebook but she remains on the bench and does not actually enter the game.  This counts as participation for TEA but not UIL, this student would not be able to participate again until after school on Friday, per TEA regulations.
  • UIL and Participation: UIL defines participation if a student athlete actually entered the contest as a player. In the example above, the contest does not count as one of the allowable games as determined by UIL policy.

Definitions:

  • Calendar week means 12:01 a.m. on Sunday through midnight on Saturday. 
  • School week means the week beginning at 12:01 a.m. on the first instructional day of a calendar week and ends at the close of instruction on the last instructional day of the calendar week, excluding holidays. 
  • Post-district play means competition in UIL playoff series or contests such as bi-district, area, regional, etc.
Allowable Contests 

Number of Contests allowed (2022-23)

  • 0 Tournaments and 26 Matches or
  • 1 Tournament and 23 Matches or
  • 2 Tournaments and 20 Matches or
  • 3 Tournaments and 17 Matches

Games

  • A team or individual may only play one game during the school week Monday (12:01 am) through Friday (after school). This means that if a team competes once Monday through Thursdauy, the second competition must be after the end of the school day Friday or Saturday. *Exception: See exception under Contest Scheduling Rules.
  • Games for softball teams and individual(s) are unlimited after the end of the school week.
  • A team or individual may play up to, but not exceed, three games per day.
  • Three games may be substituted in place of a tournament.
  • Pre-scheduled district tournaments must count as one of the invitational tournaments unless all matches played in the district tournament are counted in the season match limitation for all schools in the district.
Softball Scrimmage & Game Regulations 
Playing Rules
All games will be for seven innings (unless tied). The National Federation Softball Rules, published by the National Federation of State High School Associations shall govern all games. See UIL calendar for playoff dates. To order a rule book contact NFHS Customer Service, PO Box 361246, Indianapolis, IN 46236-5324; Phone 800-776-3462 or Fax 317-899-7496.

Scrimmages
A scrimmage is a meeting of not more than four teams for practice purposes, which does not count as a game for any of the teams. Admission may be charged. Officials may be paid in accordance with the schedule in Section 1204 (m) and may, by prior agreement with the school, be reimbursed for mileage and meals.
  • Softball teams may play two scrimmages in a calendar week (Monday-Saturday), with not more than four teams.
  • Only one scrimmage may be played (with up to four teams) during the school week.
  • No scrimmages may be played after a team’s first interschool game.
  • If more than four teams are invited to a scrimmage, each team may only scrimmage three different teams.

Games Per Week
Schools are limited to one contest (game or doubleheader) per school week. From Friday after school until Saturday midnight, schools are not limited in the number of games in which they participate.

Doubleheader
A student could play two back-to-back varsity games or in a varsity and junior varsity game, at the same site the same night. Each game counts as one of the student's total games for the season. A doubleheader can be played once during the school week and once after the end of the school week as games are unlimited.
Softball Tournament Regulations 
Tournaments
A tournament consists of at least three teams assembled at one site for competition.
  • Schools shall not schedule tournaments on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday, unless school is not in session. Schools may schedule tournaments on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
  • Tournaments may be scheduled on non-consecutive days. A two-day tournament shall not be scheduled on Thursday and Friday (can be scheduled on Thursday/Saturday or Friday/Saturday). A one-day tournament must be held on a Saturday.
  • Three games per calendar day are allowed in a tournament.
  • Max of six games in a tournament.
  • A tournament may be played during the week in which there are two matched contests being played (ie. matches on Tuesday/Friday and a tournament on Thursday/Saturday).
  • A double round robin elimination tournament shall not be used in any League contest except by unanimous consent of participating schools.
  • A tournament must be held at the ISD of the host school, or at an adjoining ISD. Host schools may authorize additional sites other than same or adjoining ISD for preliminary round games.
4-Inning Pool Play Games
A team may play in pool play during the first rounds of a tournament provided the pool games consist of no more than four innings being played.
  • Pool play utilizing "4-inning" pool play format will count all 4-inning games played in a day as one of the three allowed games per day.  These 4-inning games do not count on the overall win/loss record for the season.
  • Pool play utilizing a time limit that goes past 4-innings, each game will count as one of the allowable three games for the day.
  • Participation in pool play is counted as a tournament.  The win/loss record from pool play may be used to create a single elimination bracket.
  • When two or more teams are tied in win/loss percentage, two steps should be taken to determine the winner. 
    o   The team that defeated the other in head-to-head competition will be the winner.  If each team won one game in a two-game pool, the team that had fewer points scored against them in both games would be the winner. 
    o   If a tie still remains, a coin flip(s) would determine the winner(s).
District Certification
The DEC shall determine the place and/or time of matches in case of disagreement between two schools.
  • If not previously scheduled, a district executive committee may authorize a single-elimination match or tie-breaker tournament to resolve district ties. A one-match play-off could break a two-way tie. A tournament could resolve a tie between three or more schools.
  • Tie-breaker games (two teams tied) must be held in compliance with calendar week and school week restrictions.
  • Tie-breaker tournaments (three or more schools tied), if held on more than one day, must be held on consecutive days. Can be played Monday/Tuesday.
  • NOTE: The games must be completed by the district certification deadline and will not count against the allowable games if not previously scheduled.
  • If the district executive committee schedules any other matches or tournaments as part of their method for determining playoff representatives, the matches played must count in the match or tournament limitation.
  • The State Executive Committee shall have jurisdiction in all disputes arising between districts.
  • Districts must be certified by 11:59 p.m. on the certification deadline date.
  • Instructions to certify district representatives.
Miscellaneous Softball Regulations
Practice/Game Balls
Each team is responsible for its own practice and game balls for the season. Teams are not required to use the state-sponsored softball (Baden Perfection Game Ball - 2BSFPY) until the state tournament.

Pregame Warm-Up
It is recommended that batting practice be eliminated and that each team is given 10 minutes for infield and outfield workouts prior to each game.

Coaching Boxes
Student players and coaches in uniform or coaching attire, representing school colors, may occupy the coaching boxes.

Pitching Regulations
Prior to delivery, the pitcher shall take a position with both feet firmly on the ground with at least one foot on the pitcher's plate within the 24-inch length of the pitcher's plate. The pitching arm must come to a rest, holding the ball in front of the body, with a foot on the pitcher's plate. The pitcher must come to a full and complete stop facing the batter with the shoulders in line with first and third base. This position must be maintained for at least one second and not more than 10 seconds before starting delivery. The pitcher is not required to take a signal. The pitch starts when the pitcher makes any motion that is part of the windup after the required pause (Please refer to NFHS rule 6-4).
  • The pitching distance is 43 feet.

Head Protectors
All players must wear head protectors when batting and when on the base paths.

National Federation Courtesy Runner Regulations

  • The team at bat may use courtesy runners for the pitcher and/or catcher as soon as they reach base. The same runner may not be used for both positions. Neither the pitcher nor the catcher will be required to leave the game under such circumstances.
  • Players who have participated in the game in any other capacity are ineligible to serve as courtesy runners.
  • A player may not run as a courtesy runner for the pitcher or the catcher and then be used as a substitute for another player in that half inning.
  • NOTE: An unreported courtesy runner is an illegal substitute. For illegal substitution, such substitute shall be ejected.

Ten-Run Rule
The ten-run rule will be in effect for all games. After five (5) innings of play, if one team is ten (10) or more runs ahead of its opponent, the game shall be over. (Or if 4 1/2 innings have been completed and the home team is ten or more runs ahead).

Fifteen-Run Rule
By District Executive Committee approval, schools may use the fifteen (15) run rule after three (3) innings of play in district play.  In non-district play, mutual consent of both schools is needed.

Resolving Ties in Win-Loss Percentage
Districts should outline procedures (before the season begins) for determining playoff representatives in their district. Definite procedures should be outlined (in writing) to provide orderly facilitation for teams tied in win-loss percentage.  Especially remember to outline a procedure to be used when three teams or more are tied for the district runner-up spot.

Game Ending Procedures
A game ends when the team behind in score has completed its turn at bat in the seventh inning or in any extra inning. If the home team scores a go-ahead run in the bottom of the seventh inning or in any extra inning, the game is terminated at that point. (NFHS rule 4-2 ART. 1)

Weather and Darkness

If a game ends because of weather conditions, or darkness interferes with play so that the game is called (ended) by the umpire, it is a regulation game provided (NFHS rule 4-2 ART. 2):

  • five full innings have been played; or if the home team has scored an equal or greater number of runs in four or four and a fraction turns at bat than the visiting team has scored in five turns. 
  • play has gone beyond five full innings and is called when the teams have not had an equal number of completed turns at bat. The score shall be the same as it was at the end of the last completed inning; unless the home team, in its half of the incomplete inning, scores a run (or runs) which equals or exceeds the opponent’s score, in which case, the final score shall be as recorded when the game is called. 
  • A state association may adopt game-ending procedures that determine how games are ended, including suspended games. However, if a state association does not have established game-ending procedures, by mutual agreement of the opposing coaches and the plate umpire, any remaining play may be shortened at any time or the game terminated (NFHS rule 4-2 ART. 3).

Game Called Before Completion
If a district and non-district game is called before completion of the number of innings and conditions as specified in National Federation Softball Rules, the umpire shall declare the contest “no game.”  Unless otherwise specified by district minutes prior to the season, the game will be replayed from the start.  In games beyond the district level, a game begun, then suspended, shall continue at a later time from the point of suspension.

Videotaping/Filming (Non-Conference and District Contests)
Videotaping/Filming by Schools

  • It is a violation to film or videotape a non-conference or district athletic contest in which your school or team is not competing unless prior consent of the two schools involved has been obtained.
  • A school does not have to obtain permission to film or tape a NON-CONFERENCE OR DISTRICT contest in which it is competing. However, the film or videotape shall not be utilized until after the contest has been completed.
  • Films and videotapes become the property of the school doing the filming unless by district rule or by consent of the schools involved in the contest.

Videotaping/Filming by Individuals
Any individual (other than the officially designated school camera) taping or filming must have prior written permission from the schools involved in the contest and may not obstruct the view of other spectators of the contest.
Commercial Uses
The use of the films or tapes for commercial purposes must be approved by all schools involved in the contest.

Pep Bands

  • The UIL does allow “pep” bands (up to 30 members) to play at softball games at the prescribed times listed below.
  • Musical instruments may not be used as noisemakers during the contest.
  • The “pep” band shall not be located behind or near the opposition’s bench.
  • If a “pep” band does perform the following guidelines should be followed to ensure a full appreciation of the group’s performance. Performances by the pep band should be limited to appropriate times listed below:
    • The band may play before the game begins. The director should coordinate the schedule so that the host school may introduce team members.
    • The band may play during time-outs and in between innings of the contest.
    • The band may play at the end of the contest if desired.