IHSA Newsbites: Softball distance moved, swimsuit banned

By on August 13, 2009

Softball pitching distance changed
The Illinois High School Association Board of Directors approved a recommendation to move the pitching distance in the sport of softball to 43 feet effective with the upcoming 2009-10 softball season at their regularly schedule meeting on Aug. 10. The pitching distance was 40 feet in 2008-09.

The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), whose rules the IHSA follows for all sports including softball, voted to increase the pitching distance effective with the 2010-11 season. Each state was given the option to move its pitching distance to 43 feet for the upcoming 2009-10 season or wait until it became mandatory in 2010-11. The rule revision was made by the NFHS Softball Rules Committee at its annual meeting in Indianapolis on June 8-10.

“I believe this is the best move for the student-athletes and high school softball in Illinois,” said IHSA Executive Director Marty Hickman. “This change came as no surprise, as the NFHS has talked about it for nearly a decade, and we knew it was only a matter of time.”

Swimsuits banned

High-tech swimsuits that have been linked to record performances at all levels of competition the past couple of years have been banned for high school competition, effective immediately.

The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Swimming and Diving Rules Committee approved changes to Rule 3-2-2 that will make the high-tech swimsuit no longer a legal suit for swimmers at the high school level. The committee’s recommendations were subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.

Effective immediately, swimmers shall be limited to one swimsuit, which shall be constructed of a woven/knit textile material, permeable to water and air, constructed so as not to aid in buoyancy, and shall not contain zippers or other fastening systems. In addition, the suit shall be constructed so that the style/shape for males shall not extend above the waist or below the top of the kneecap and for females shall not extend beyond the shoulders or below the top of the kneecap, and it shall not cover the neck.

The committee discussed the high-tech swimsuit issue at its meeting in March, but did not have enough factual information to take action at that time.