With the elimination of the DP/FLEX PONY Softball added the extra player or EP. The reason for the change was to give the coaches and umpires a simpler rule that everyone can understand. It is a simple rule and as umpires we need to make sure we keep it that way.
Rule 4, section 6 (page 32) states
a. Any team may use one (1) or two (2) Extra Players (EP) per game and it must be made known prior to the start of the game and properly indicated in the lineup. The use of an EP without listing on the lineup is an illegal player.** (see below)
b. The EP must remain in the same position in the batting order for the entire game.
c. The EP may play defense at any time without her status being affected. She may go in and out of the defensive lineup as often as needed as long as her position in the official batting order is not altered.
d. The EP may be substituted for at any time with the substitute becoming the new EP. The substitute must be a player who has not been in the game.
e. Penalty for EP not remaining in the game: Short Handed Rule applies.
Lets first look at a lineup card using the EP
As you can see this lineup is using two EP’s. They are listed in different spots of the lineups. If EP’s are used they can be listed anywhere in the lineup. They are not required to be listed at the bottom. Any of the eleven players listed above can play defense. They can go in and out of the lineup defensively and it is not a substitution. It does not have to be reported. The defensive coach can call time and have one of the player’s that is sitting on the bench to go in for someone playing and it is not a substitution as long as the player going in is listed on the lineup card as a starter.
If a lineup is submitted without a EP or they only listed one instead of two they cannot add any once the plate umpire as declared the lineup official. If they do then you would have an ineligible player and you must enforce the penalty for using an ineligible player. *** Rule book uses the word illegal player when it should be ineligible player. Please make that correction in your rule book.