In a world which is actually not devoid of gender discrimination, there is at least one field where it is not done, and that is sports. Yes, and it does actually concern a 'field'. I am referring to ASA coed softball here. All the same, on a serious note, ASA coed softball is a very innovative and intelligent endeavor by the Amateur Softball Association (ASA), USA. The set of rules are the same for men and women, giving both a chance to play at par with each other. The ASA makes the coed games fair and challenging for both, by giving alternatives to some of the basic softball rules. Coed refers to teams having both men and women, and not just all men or all women teams.
ASA Softball Rules and Regulations
While the core of the rules are the same, the modifications and alterations in them have been done keeping in mind the fact that both the sexes play shoulder to shoulder.
A single team should have 10 members, with 5 men and 5 women. If this is not the formation, the team cannot register as an ASA coed team. Moreover, two males and two females must be present in the infield and outfield, and there has to be one male and female pitcher and catcher.
The Game Play
A game should have 7 innings, and if the score is tied at the end, the game continues. Extra innings will be added on till a team has scored more than the other at the end of a complete inning. As far as batting is concerned, it will have alternate members of both sexes in the batting order. This order has to be given to the umpire before the match, and it is mostly male-female, male-female. In case of females batting, a 11-inch red-stitch ball is in play. When men are batting, a 12-inch ball is used. In case of pitching, there are four types of pitches―fast pitch, modified pitch, slow pitch, and 16-inch slow pitch.
Exceptions and Special Rules
There cannot be rules without exceptions, and that is where all the fun lies.
- A game can be called off in case the umpire deems necessary, reasons primarily being anything potentially dangerous for the players.
- In case of the usage of the wrong ball, the manager of the offense takes a call regarding accepting the play, or to force it to be replayed with the appropriate ball.
- In the advent of a pitcher walking a male batter, the batter takes two-bases.
- If a couple of outs happen while the earlier point is happening, the female batter up next can take a walk instead of batting, if she wants to.
- In case a shorthanded play is necessary, there can be an exception to the 5 men and 5 women rule as well, as well as the two males and two females in the infield and outfield rule.