Rules on International Tiebreakers in Women's Fastpitch Softball

The International Tiebreaker Rule

Step 1

Starting with the eighth inning, the offensive team begins the inning with the ninth hitter in the batting order placed on second base. According to ISF rules, "the player who is running can be substituted in accordance with the substitution rules." In Amateur Softball Association events, the tiebreaker may be used in tournament pool play games after 1 hour and 40 minutes -- even if the game hasn't reached the seventh inning.

Step 2

The Tiebreaker and Strategy

Step 1

By starting an inning with a runner on second base and nobody out, the offensive team can bunt the runner to third base. This forces the defense to pull its defense in and creates a variety of ways to score. While the international tiebreaker is an effective way to speed an extra-inning game to its conclusion, it can be a difficult way to lose a game. This is why its usage is limited in the U.S. college game.

International Tiebreaker in College Softball

Step 1

The National Collegiate Athletic Association uses the international tiebreaker rule in regular season games, but not until the 10th inning. The NCAA no longer uses the tiebreaker in its Division I championship tournament. The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics follows NCAA rules on the tiebreaker.

International Tiebreaker in Pro Softball

Step 1

The National Pro Fastball league, like the NCAA, does not use the tiebreaker rule until games reach the 10th inning tied.

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