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Rules and Regulations

Wheelchair Softball Australia (WSA) follows the rules and regulations established by the National Wheelchair Softball Association (NWSA) and the International Wheelchair Softball Federation (IWSF). WSA recognises the NWSA and IWSF as the governing bodies of International Wheelchair Softball. WSA is also governed by rules and regulations of Softball Victoria and Softball Australia.

These rules and regulations have been modified slightly to adhere to the current playing conditions and participation levels in Australia

WSA Rulebook 2020
NWSA Rulebook 2019
Softball Australia Codes of Conduct
Wheelchair Softball Australia Rules

Field Dimensions

The playing field at Casey Softball, Sweeney Reserve, Melzak Way, Berwick, at present, is the netball court area

The dimensions are:

  • Straight Centre- 167 feet*

  • Left Foul Line- 124 feet*

  • Right Foul Line- 112 feet*

*May not be to scale

Minimum requirements by NWSA is: 150 feet on the left and right foul lines and 180-220 feet to straight center

Rules of Play

  1. All players must be in manual wheelchairs with foot platforms

  2. Games will be 90 minutes in duration or a maximum of 7 innings. If a team is leading by 12 runs or more after 4 completed innings or 10 runs or more after 5 completed innings, the game will end. If the home team achieves this in their at bat innings, the game ends

  3. The team written as first in the fixture will be deemed the home team and will bat second (bottom of innings)

  4. A team must have a minimum of 8 players to start the game. If they don’t, it could result in a forfeit.

  5. A team can only field and bat a maximum of 9 players at any one time

  6. A batting innings ends when a team has 3 outs or a maximum of 9 runs is scored

  7. Player substitutions can be done when the ball is dead or time has been called (see 6.0 regarding subsitutions)

  8. Base runners can be tagged out between bases by a fielder. A tag is when the fielder has the ball and touches the runner with it on any part of their body or wheelchair above the knees of the baserunner

    1. A tag on the runner or chair is required to record an out on a non-force play

    2. A touch of the base is all that is required to record an out on a force play

  9. A run is only scored when a baserunner reaches home plate safely as per established softball rules

  10. The “Chop Hit” is allowed in Wheelchair Softball. Chopped Hit Ball- A chopped hit ball is a hit ball which is struck with a downward motion. A chop hit is legal for all players

  11. The defensive baseman and the base runner must touch the circle with one or more wheels in order to tag the base. These wheels include the 2 front caster wheels and the two rear wheels. Anti-tip casters (rear caster wheels) are not considered as a wheel

  12. ​The baserunner must be seated in their wheelchair and make contact with the base with either one or more wheels, or may tag the base with their hand

  13. If a baserunner is knocked out of his/her chair, they may proceed to the previous or next base by any means other than hopping, walking, or running, and make contact with the base with any part of their body

  14. A baserunner may not place a lower extremity (from the waist down) on the ground or someone else’s chair to stop their chair. If they do, the play is dead, the runner is out, and all base runners return to the last base achieved

  15. No fielder may advance toward or play the ball with any lower extremity in contact with the ground. A player may return to their chair and then advance toward the ball. The infraction will be treated as a delayed dead ball

  16. The fielder has the right to field/throw/catch the ball and batters/runners cannot interfere with that. Runners or batters that obstruct/interfere will be called out

  17. Fielders without the ball cannot obstruct base runners. The runner will be awarded the base they are advancing to if obstruction/interference is called

  18. The hitter cannot have a lower extremity in contact with the ground when hitting. If they do, the ball is dead, the batter is out, and all base runners return to the last base achieved before the illegal at-bat

  19. All 4 infielders must have at least one wheel on the line or on the infield area side of the restraining line until the ball leaves the pitcher’s hand. If any infielder fails to observe the restraining line rule, the umpire will immediately award 1st base to the batter. The  infraction shall be treated as a walk

  20. All outfielders must remain behind the outfield restraining line until the pitcher releases the ball during a pitch

  21. Overthrow

    1. If an overthrown ball leaves the field of play or becomes blocked, baserunners will be awarded two bases, defined by their position at the time of the throw

    2. If an overthrown ball still stays in the field of play, baserunners can advance as many as they want at their own risk

  22. Blocked ball (either batted or pitched)

    1. Baserunners will be awarded one base, defined by their position at the time of the ball becoming blocked

  23. All baserunners may advance at any time after the pitcher releases the ball at their own risk

  24. If a fly ball is taken either in fair or foul territory, the baserunner must return to their original base before the catch was taken

    1. A baserunner can be thrown out if they don't reach the base in time

    2. A baserunner can advance, after the catch is taken, provided they have returned to their original base.

    3. They can be thrown out if they don’t reach the next base in time

  25. Quadriplegics can bunt, but must inform the umpire before first at bat of quad status during any given game. No other batter can bunt. A bunt attempt will be called a strike

  26. The player classified as a quadriplegic may wear a glove on either or both hands regardless of position (including pitcher).

  27. Any player may wear a fielding glove at any fielding position if they choose to. Fielding gloves are not mandatory.

  28. The player classified as a quadriplegic may alter their bat to improve the grip. The altered bat must be approved by the head umpire for safety concerns (no sharp or pointed edges, etc.)

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