NCAA makes rules changes for softball teams



INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The NCAA is telling softball teams to provide a list of bat models to umpires for inspection before games and will give teams a choice when a delayed dead ball is called.

Both changes for next season were announced Wednesday by the playing rules oversight panel.

A delayed dead ball occurs when a runner leaves base before the ball leaves the pitcher’s hands. Umpires will signal when the runner leaves early but the play will continue. If the runner is called out, the pitch would not count.

Batters who stay inside the batter’s box will not be required to attempt avoiding getting hit by a pitch to be awarded first base.

The committee also will require all brick, wood and cement backstops and home run fences to be padded before 2016.