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NCAA Softball Rules

NCAA Softball Recruitment Rules Every College Aspirant Should Know

NCAA softball is extremely popular in the United States? What is so different about this sport? This article will let you in on its rules...
Fatima Rangwala
Last Updated: Apr 9, 2018
Softball is technically a descendant of baseball. Nevertheless, there are some key factors which makes softball stand different from baseball. Since the year 1910, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has been dealing with college sports and championships. In the year 1982, the first women softball championships were held in three divisions. The game of softball, particularly for women, is earnestly one of the high-profile sports in NCAA. Softballs aren't soft as you may think, but are even harder than a baseball, and also larger in size.
Moreover, the pitches thrown in softball are underhand, instead of overhand. Two teams, each having 9 players, play against each other on a field of 220 feet (for women) and 250 feet (for men). Discussed below are some basic rules which are stringently followed by all the college teams, so that consistency is maintained in this particular sport.
Basic Rules of Softball
The main aim of the game is to score more runs than the opposite team, by standing beside the home plate and hitting the ball into play. Meanwhile, the batter has to run around the bases, touching every base defender in the process, and return to the home plate. If unfortunately, he hits the ball in the foul region and the ball is caught by the fielder, he is out. And if the ball merely hits the foul region, it's a strike. A player can have only three strikes in the game. 
Also, if the batter hits the ball and it first lands on the in-field area, and then crosses over the foul line right before the outfield, that means the hit is a foul. If the ball goes over the foul-line and hits the outfield, the hit is fair enough. The team which successfully manages to return to the home plate gets a good score. On the other hand, the entire team would be declared out if three batters have been struck off, caught, thrown, or tagged along during the game. Softball is usually played for 7 innings, where both teams get to play offense and defense. Also, every inning is divided into a bottom half and a top half, which decides the roles of both teams.
NCAA Softball Recruiting Rules
The rules ensure that the game is played fair and square between participating schools. Also, the point of contact between the coaches and the recruits need to be unbiased and efficient. If there are scholarships which are supposed to be handed out to recruits, NCAA governs this procedure soundly. NCAA, in present times, has about 300 colleges, which have been split in three sections, with varying recruiting rules.
  • Coaches cannot disclose the recruiting data to the high school until the 1st of September of their junior year.
  • Also, coaches cannot make phone calls to the high school.
  • If the player is ready to pay for the visit during the spring break or so, they are allowed to visit the coach or call them up to discuss softball activities.
  • There are players who might be attempting prior to the junior year. Coaches cannot interact with them at the time of tournaments.
  • At the start of the junior year, coaches can interact with the players via emails, phone calls, and literature. But those interactions are limited to one phone call or email per week, after the athlete's junior season has reached amid.
  • Every softball player can just make five visits to the sports campus or events, as long as that visit is a paid one.
Schools Scholarships (Division Rules)
Scholarship at Division I
The NCAA Division I is known to be an equivalent scholarship sport. Herein, instead of allotting the scholarship full-fledged to one person, the scholarship dollars are split up amongst many players in the form of partial scholarships. Usually, women softball teams are awarded equivalent dollars, up to 12 scholarships in total.
Scholarship at Division II & III
In Division II, the number of scholarships available are just 7.2 full grants, and the rest of the athletic dollars are given to those students who need academic scholarships.
For Division III schools, there are no academic scholarships for softball. But coaches are allowed to recruit players and also work with them on their academic backgrounds. This way, students cum players can actually grab an opportunity to play the game of softball, and also complete their education, managing all the costs conveniently.