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Softball/DP/Flex question in girls fastpitch softball

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Question
QUESTION: Can the flex run for the DP if the DP gets on base?  If yes, then is this considered a substitution?  Can this happen multiple times in a game?

ANSWER: Yes the flex can run for the DP.  This is what happens, the line-up goes from 10 to 9.  The flex player is now in the DP's line up spot and the DP has left the game.  THE FLEX PLAYER HAS NOT LEFT THE GAME.  If you want to put the DP back into hit you can.  This uses the DP's re-entry rights.  The flex play moves back to the 10th spot in the line-up.  THE FLEX PLAYER HAS NOT RE-ENTERED THE GAME AS THEY HAVE NEVER LEFT.  The next time the DP leaves the game they are done for that game.  If you have other players that you can sub in as the DP this can continue until you run out of subs for the DP.

Check out this link.

https://www.nfhs.org/media/881553/dp_flex_strategies.pdf

Tom

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you for such a quick reply.  Next question about DP/Flex:  on page 85 in the NHFS points of emphasis 3c.  "The DP can replace anyone on defense any time, any number of times while the Flex player may replace the DP any time, any number of times.

What exactly is the last sentence referencing when it states that a Flex can replace the DP any time, any number of times??

Answer
When you change the line-up from 10 players to 9 players by moving the Flex player to the DP spot, this does not count as the flex player substituting for the DP.  As long as you have enough players to put back in the DP spot, as the DP has left the game when the Flex player moves into the DP spot in the lineup, the Flex player can bounce back and forth all game.  Here is the strategy that I use this for.  

I have a very good hitter who plays very good defense but is very slow.  She does not pitch or catch and I want to have a runner for her every time she gets on base which is often 3-4 times a game.  

In the line-up at the beginning of the game, I list her as the Flex player and the first girl that I want to run for her as the DP in 4 slot in the line-up.

The first time we get to the 4 slot in the line-up, I ask for time and tell the umpire  my flex player is batting for my DP, effectively changing the line-up to 9 players from 10.  The DP has left the game the Flex has not.

When the Flex player gets on base, I call time and tell the umpire that my DP is re-entering the game and she runs the bases.  The DP has used her re-entry rights.  

The next time the 4 slot in the line-up comes up, I ask for time and tell the umpire  my flex player is batting for my DP again, effectively changing the line-up to 9 players from 10.  again, the DP has left the game the Flex has not.  Since the DP has re-entered once, she is out of the game.  You need to have a sub on the bench that has not been in the game for this to work.

Once my flex player gets on base, I call time and I enter a new DP to run.  Again, my flex player has not left the game.  The second player can run for her twice.  If my flex player gets on base a fourth time in a game, I need a 3 girl that can sub into the DP spot to run.

Hope this makes sense.  

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Tom Mielke

Expertise

Rule and scoring questions for girls/womens Fastpitch Softball. Primarily High School (NFHS) and ASA

Experience

Rec, Varsity and Travel Ball Coach and High School Umpire

Education/Credentials
Michigan High School Athletic Association registered official: Softball, Basketball

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