Rule debate rages on

THE SEVEN-RUN declaration rule continues to ignite discussion in the softball community — but the issue did not rate a mention at Bundaberg Softball Association’s general meeting this week.

Calls to scrap the rule — which requires any team to declare an innings after scoring seven runs — from senior softball have been voiced since it was introduced at the start of the season.

But Bundaberg Softball Association committee member Mike Shanhun said the rule would not be discussed at a meeting until an official request to do so was tendered.

That request was expected this week, with softball players telling the NewsMail a petition had been signed by several clubs.

“I signed a letter two weeks ago and I thought it was going to be tabled to the committee,” South Sluggers veteran Gemma Bush said.

According to Shanhun, that letter never made it to the association.

And he said the issue would not be discussed again until an official request was received.

“We have discussed the issue at previous meetings and it was voted through by a majority decision,” Shanhun said.

The rule change was first raised at a general meeting at the start of the year, Shanhun said.

At that meeting it was deferred to allow club representatives time to consider the issue.

“I had expected something to be tabled about the issue at Wednesday night’s meeting, but it wasn’t,” Shanhun said.

“We have an agenda of things that we are going to discuss.”

Bush yesterday called the rule change a “step back” for Bundaberg softball.

“It’s like going back to play tee-ball.”

The issue follows concerns raised by softball coaches in last week’s NewsMail and comments posted by Bush on the JustSports website.

Players told the NewsMail the rule could become a major issue in the finals because it would not allow a team to chase more than seven runs in any innings.

Shanhun agreed and said the rule would have to be looked at before the finals series started.

“At the end of the season we will post the by-laws for the finals series,” he said.

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