STADIUM PADDING RULES UPDATE
The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel recently approved a requirement that all softball sideline and home run fences constructed of wood, concrete or brick be padded by Jan. 1, 2027. Padding must begin not higher than 1 foot off the ground and extend to the top of the wood, concrete or brick or 6 feet from the ground, whichever is shorter.
Padding is also a requirement for backstops constructed of wood, concrete and brick and was previously strongly recommended for fences constructed of those materials.
Additionally, the Baseball Rules Committee recommended padding be placed on all hard surfaces (backstops, sideline and home run fences) with which a player could collide during play. This will likely become a requirement in the near future, following the lead of the softball decision.