Obstruction Rule Change Approved for 2018 College Softball Season

Obstruction Rule  pic
Obstruction Rule
Image: flosoftball.com

A former educational administrator, Lori Manning is pursuing an MBA from Western Governors University. Lori Manning previously served as a college softball coach.

Rule changes are an integral aspect of sports. The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel is responsible for adopting new rules in college softball, and this past summer, the panel approved a rule relating to the blocking of bases.

Effective for the 2018 season, defenders will no longer be able to block any of the four bases until they are in possession of the ball. If the defender blocks the base without possession of the ball, the approaching runner will be ruled safe, but if the runner comes into contact with the defensive player without attempting to slide, the runner will be ruled out.

The rule change was approved to clarify the original ruling, which had ambiguous wording and allowed the defender to block the base while in the process of catching the ball. Another new rule change is a two-minute time limit between half-innings during televised games, which will improve the pace of play.