Questions and answers will be posted at my discretion, as I have the opportunity to do so. All answers are purely my personal opinion. Thanks to Jim Evans for compiling his Professional Baseball Rules Index, which is invaluable in providing reasonably correct responses.
Additional answers can be found here.
See Scoring Runs for run scoring questions.
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1 out, swinging third strike, ball in the dirt and
hitter takes a step to the dugout. Not knowing the ball was in the dirt. Ball
rolls a couple feet in front of the catcher and the catcher scoops ball with
hits mask. Runner on first base. What is the ruling?
Lansing, MI. - 10/14/14
The ball is live. The runner gets 1 base from where he was when the ball was touched with detached equipment.
Batter hits a home run. While rounding the bases he has
a quarral with an opponent and is ejected before crossing home plate. Does the
Yes. The ejection is effective after playing action is finished.
I don't understand why the ball in a fair foul call in
front of a base umpire (1st or 3rd) is not a reviewable call. Sometimes it is so
obvious and would take 10 seconds to overturn a call like this: so obvious that
the ball rolled over the bag or did not and the call was blown, or that the ball
hit the line in front of the ump and was ruled foul, and it is so fusturating
when it is so obvious and can't be reviewed. If baseball wants to get its calls
right, in instituting the replay policy, why disallow these obvious blown calls to be reviewable?
USA - 8/10/14
Unless you or the camera is looking directly down the line, you can't tell if a
call was correct or not.
MLB considered this but did not want to deal with a fair ball being called foul which would stop all playing action.
If a batter is hit by a pitch when he positions his body
in the strike zone i.e. turns his back to a pitch is it a strike or a walk?
Independence, WI - 7/15/14
A runner at third leaves early on a fly to the
outfield. He crosses home plate. At what point is it too late for him to retreat back to third?
As soon as he touches the plate.
Runner of 1st, one out. R1 is stealing on the pitch and
the right-handed batter swings and misses at a low outside pitch for strike
three. The batter's momentum carries him out of the box toward 1st base and he
clearly interferes with the catcher's throw on R1 - the throw hits the batter.
The batter is already out on strike 3. What is the ruling?
The batter is out on strike 3, and the runner is out on the batter's interference.
In between innings a fielder takes the mound and starts
throwing pitches to the catcher, then the real pitcher comes out and starts
pitching. Fielder takes his normal position. Is this illegal?
Davenport, Iowa - 6/11/14
Yes. Once a player throws one warm-up pitch from the rubber, he must pitch to a minimum of one batter.
Bases loaded 1 out. Batter hits short pop fly that
catcher catches in fair territory. Runner on 2nd and 3rd took off on contact.
Catcher throws to 3rd baseman who throws home as runner slides into home. Ball
gets past catcher and runner retreats to 3rd base. Catcher then throws to 2nd
base to try getting the runner there. Ball bounces away and runner on 3rd comes
home a second time and scores. Was this a legal play?
Stetsonville, WI - 6/7/14
No. Once the runner scores, he can no longer retreat to 3rd to re-touch.
Bottom of 7th, Bases loaded 1 out, ball hit to left
field. Batter-runner advances to 1st, runner on 3rd goes home ahead of the
throw. Ump calls ballgame as he crosses the plate. Problem is the runners on
1st and second never left their bags, the coaches told them to stay. Defense
sees this and runs the ball to 3rd and to second before they have all left the
field. Offense is still celebrating as the ump realizes he screwed up and calls
both out. Since it was a force he said no runs count and should go to extra innings. What should have happened in that situation?
Chattanooga, TN - 6/5/14
Not a good situation. I don't know why an umpire would "call" a ball game, but this is the only solution to the problem, since the runners did not run and they were legally forced out.
Two run HR, lead runner is 3rd out for not touching home
on an appeal after the play. Does the batter's run count?
Aliquippa, PA - 5/23/14
No. No run can score if the preceding runner is the 3rd out.
An interesting scenario happened in our ball game last night. Runner on 1st - ground ball to
1st baseman. Runner left 1st but then went back to the base as the fielder
gathered the ball. Fielder touched 1st base thus making the batter out.
Normally when this happens the runner needs to be tagged and is usually going to
2nd (but could technically go back to 1st since the base is open after the
fielder touches it making the batter out). However, in this case the runner was
actually on 1st base when it was touched by the fielder. Is the runner then
"safe" at 1st as it is an open base or is there a rule that he cannot be
standing on 1st at all - is he considered illegally occupying 1st base?
Saskatoon, SK Canada - 5/13/14
Tie score bottom of the last inning, 2 outs, runner on
3rd, 3 balls on the batter. Ball 4 is a wild pitch and the runner from 3rd
scores the potential winning run. The batter celebrates and does not reach 1st
base. The fielders all leave the field thinking the game is over. Do I call the
batter/runner out and the game continues or does the fielding team have to
appeal (but can't since they all left the field). What is the ruling?
Carneys Point, NJ - 5/5/14
Runner on second; less than 2 outs; batter swings at
strike 3; umpire does not call the batter out; he believes the ball hit the
ground before catcher makes the catch, drop 3rd; batter runs to first; catcher
throws the ball into the outfield; runner on second scores; batter runner ends
up on second; Homeplate umpire calls time walks out and talks to the field
umpire; home plate changes his call to 'batter is out'
My question is does the run score over should the runner that scored been put back on second?
Chesterfield, Va. - 5/5/14
What is the rule on hit by pitch? Does a batter need to make an effort to
get out of the way or can he just stand and be struck by the ball? Need high school rule on this.
Boulder CO - 4/22/14
If a runner fails to touch home plate on an
inside-the-park home run, and proceeds to leave the field of play and celebrate
with his teammates in his dugout, what is the appropriate call? Is the runner
safe or out? Does his run count?
Fontana, CA - 4/17/14
The runner is safe pending appeal.
Filled box, 2 outs, the batter makes a hit he is safe to
the first base, but he risks and goes to second base, the runner that was
originally in second base now he runs from third to home, in the same moment
umpire calls out to the batter-runner between first and second base, the runner scores?
Cananea, Sonora Mexico - 4/8/14
Runners on first and third with one out. Runner on third
tags up and heads home on a fly ball. The runner on first runs on the hit and
does not tag. The throw is cut off. The runner on third crosses the plate. Then
the runner on first is tagged out after the runner on third has crossed the
plate. Does the run count since it was the third out and the second out of the play?
Corsicana, TX - 3/31/14
This situation happened to me best mate and we're still
a bit wankered by it. Here's my best explanation: NFHS Rules. Nobody on, Nobody out. The pitcher throws a high hard one up near
the batter's head. The batter in attempting to avoid getting schnockered
accidentally hits the ball with the end of the bat (near his hands). The ball
pops into the air and the pitcher easily catches it in Fair Territory. However,
me matey he bethinks that the pitch has struck the batter so he inadvertently
declares "Dead Ball" after the ball hits the bat, but before the pitcher makes
the catch. A bloody rhubard ensues. What should we have done? Catch, batter's
out? Dead Ball, batter gets First? Do Ova? Foul Ball, even though the pitcher
caught it on the mound? Thanks for your help matey! You're a champ. G'Day!
Woomera, South Australia - 3/15/14
Runner attempts to steal home the pitch
hits the runner, there's a man on first, he takes off the catcher throws him out..whats the rule?
Rahway N.J. - 3/15/14
When a legal pitch hits the runner, the ball is dead and runners advance (he gets 2nd). If the pitch is in the strike zone with 2 out and it is strike 3, the batter is out and the run does not score. Before there are 2 outs and the pitch is in the strike zone, the batter is out on strike 3 and the run scores.
Trees are hanging over the field of play in the
outfield. Fly ball looks like a HR. It hits the tree and (a) goes over the
fence, or (b) falls into play. What's the rule? Can there ever be a HR if it
hits the tree? I was thinking it's a dead ball, but don't know where to put the batter and runners.
Gretna, LA - 3/5/14
If it hits the tree and clears the fence it is a HR. If it hits the tree and falls back onto the playing field, it is live and in play.
NFHS rules, tournament. Bottom of 7th bases loaded, tie
game. Umpire calls balk and apparent winning run from third touches home
plate. A celebration results in runner at first not advancing to second.
Visiting team appeals that runner at first did not touch second and therefore is
out. They claim no run scores and game ends in a tie. Umpires agree. My
interpretation is that runners are "awarded a base" and therefore may decline to
advance. This is not a force situation and home team should have won.
CA - 3/2/14
You are correct. This is not a force, the run counts reguardless.
Runner on 2nd base. Pitcher spins to do pick-off, fakes a throw. The SS covering the bag jumps up like the throw sailed over his head
into center field. Runner, thinking the ball is in center, takes off and the pitcher, who still had the ball, easily picks the runner off. While OK in Little
League, in High School wouldn't this be a balk, for deceiving a runner?
Larkspur, CA - 2/24/14
If there is no fake tag involved, this is a legal play. I've seen it attempted but have never seen it work.
Runner on second pitcher comes set, runner attempts to steal third. Pitcher steps directly toward third and throws to third. Pitcher did not
step off the rubber. Runner is called out on the tag. Is this a balk? Can the pitcher throw to an unoccupied base?
Florida NY - 7/10/13
It is not a balk. A pitcher can throw to an unoccupied base if he is making a play, which is the case here.
Once a pitcher comes set out of the stretch position can he
shake off or agree to the catchers sign by nodding his head no or yes?
Rootstown, OH - 7/2/13
This just happened at a Babe Ruth 13U-15U district tournament,
in a tight game. There is one out and a runner on third. There are two strikes
on the batter. The batter swings and misses for strike three in the dirt, but
the catcher misses the pitch and the ball goes to the backstop. The runner at
third starts running home, while the batter remains in the batter's box. The
catcher attempts to throw the ball back to the pitcher who is covering home.
However, the ball hits the batter who still remains in the box and in the path
of the ball, preventing the pitcher from catching the ball and tagging the
runner coming home. In addition, this also prevents the pitcher from tagging
the batter who just struck out. After some review, umpire finally calls it a
'dead ball' and awards the batter first base and has the other runner go back to
third. What should have been the call? (I think both the runner and batter
should have been out for interference by the batter, as this would have been a
double play situation at home plate). Thanks, in advance, if you can help shed some light on this situation.
North Carolina - 7/2/13
The pitcher in the stretch starts his motion to pitch, the
runner at second starts to steal third. Pitcher stops his motion to throw to
third. A balk is called and the play is called dead. The ball was over thrown
but the runner stayed at third because the runner heard dead ball. Should the runner be awarded home?
Pequot Lakes, MN - 7/1/13
Ball four called due to pitch in the dirt, catcher blocks and
ball and ball rolls into foul ground, as walked batter advance to 1st he tosses
his bat back to the dugout and hits the ball with the bat. Runners were sent
from 3rd and 2nd to score. Then opposing coach inquires as to dead ball call due
to walked batter hitting the ball in foul territory. Umpire calls dead ball and
interference and walked batter out. Is this a correct call?
Troy Eller Westville, Il
nobody on. ball hit to second baseman. first baseman has to
run back to the bag to make the play ball is thrown to the first baseman as he
is moving. he goes to touch the bag as the batter runner reaches the bag. base
umpire calls the batter runner out . first base coach asks for an appeal to home
plate umpire saying the first baseman missed the bag. Is this allowed.? is the
batter runner out because of the first call of out , even if the first baseman
did miss the bag . if an appeal is allowed the batter runner would be safe.
Does the 1st baseman have to have both feet in fair territory?
Sandy Oregon - 6/9/13
What happens when a player hits a home run with a runner on
base, and the batter crosses home before the runner on base, due to the fact the
runner stopped to give a hi-5 at home plate. Is this an appeal play?
Nick - 5/10/13
Man on first and third, first baseman not holding runner on
and is positioned behind the runner.
Question: Is it legal for the pitcher to step off the rubber and throw to first
as the first baseman is moving towards first. The first baseman catches the
ball and tags the runner out before he returns to the base. I was always under
the assumption that a first baseman must be in close proximity to the base on a pickoff attempt.
Illinois - 5/5/13
High School Baseball game. The batter
swings and misses the third strike, catcher has the ball hit his chest and it
rebounds down the first base line. The batter takes off for first base and
inadvertently kicks the ball which now rolls out of bounds. He makes it to first
on a bad throw from the catcher. Is he out for kicking the ball?
Lancaster NY - 5/1/13
Ball four, left handed batter flicks / tosses his bat toward
his third base dugout. Catcher simultaneously attempts to pick the runner off
third. The thrown ball hits the bat in mid air. Since it's ball four does it
become runner interface or is it still batter interference? It would have been
a close play at third going either way. What the ruling?
Moraga. CA - 4/13/13
I've never seen anything like this, one of the great things about the game. The batter is out for interference.
If a batter hits the ball towards the mound, and the
ball hits off the rubber and ricocheted in foul territory between home and 1st
base or between home and 3rd base, is that a fair ball or foul ball?
Chesapeake, VA - 3/15/13
It is a foul ball. I have seen this occur where a line drive bounced off the exposed front of the rubber and directly back to the catcher who was still in the catcher's box.
NFHS Rules. Runner on 3rd. Ball hit to SS whose initial
play is to 1st, but after the runner crosses the base. He then throws into the
dugout. Runner (R1) on third stands fast.
1) R1 gets home, B1 is awarded 2nd since the award is two bases from the time of the pitch
2) R1 stays on 3rd, B1 gets 2nd.
3) R1 gets home, B1 gets 3rd since he was past 1st when SS made the throw.
Half of us say #1.; Half says it depends where the runner is, though we cannot find that in the book. Please cite the rule.
Chattanooga, TN - 2/19/13
1 out runner on first. Batter hits a soft line drive
directly at SS. SS let's ball hits his glove and drops it at his feet. Flips a
6-4-3. Should the dp be allowed? I know it's difficult to measure intent but it
was clear the SS did this intentionally. My thought is it should not be allowed
but I can not find anything. If nothing else the SS had enough control to drop
the ball at his feet. I could call a caught ball.
Columbus, OH - 10/8/12
Watch the two clips below. The situation that occurred
with me more mimics the second clip. I called balk. The coach and even other
umpires tell me that as long as the 1b is breaking to the bag it is a legal
play. I told them it has nothing to do with the 1st baseman, it has to do with where the
pitcher threw the ball. The book says a pitcher must step and throw to the bag. What are your thoughts?
Benton, AR - 9/28/12
The runner is called safe by umpire at home. Ball is
then thrown to 3rd but but runner is safe as well. Then a batter enters the box
and an appeal is in process saying the runner at home didn't touch. The plate
umpire then motions out to grant appeal at plate. He was the umpire who called
the runner safe. He then said he said safe for the tag at home not the touching of home. HELP!!!
Hermitage,TN - 9/24/12
See the answer below. Any runner missing a base or the plate is condidered safe pending appeal.
In the Cards-Mets game on 09/03/12, the runner missed
touching first base and moves onto second base. According to the rule book is
it up to the umpire to call that runner out at first even though he was safe at second base?
Runners on 1st and 2nd. Pitching from the stretch, the
pitcher fails to come set. As he releases the pitch, the field umpire yells
"balk!". The batter swings and hits the ball to deep left-center field. Two
runs score and the batter ends up on 3rd. The home plate umpire negates the
entire play because he mistakenly called time during the play in response to the
balk call. Runners are placed back on the bases on 3rd and 2nd with the batter
facing the same count. Is this the correct call or should he have let the play stand?
Austin, Texas - 8/27/12
In NFHS high school rules... During a game I have
entered all my subs so that everyone has batted. Later in the game, another one
of my active starters is injured while still playing. Can I re-enter one of my
sitting starters or move a sub to take over for the injured player? If not, do
I have to take an out for the injured player and field only 8 players?
Terre Haute, IN - 7/20/12
Runner on first with one out and low line drive to first
baseman. Ball caught on hop and as runner holds bag. First baseman steps on bag
and then tags runner while still on bag? Who is out? What if first baseman
tags runner on bag before stepping on bag to force batter?
RI - 7/19/12
The batter-runner is out, the runner on 1st is safe as the force has been removed. If the 1st baseman tags the runner and then steps on the bag, it's a double play.
There's a runner on third with less than two outs, and
the batter hits a weak grounder down the first base line. The runner on third
breaks for home. The pitcher fields the ball and tries to tag the runner going
to first, but he tries to avoid the tag by running back towards home and is
called out. The runner on third crossed home plate before the fieler tried to
tag out the player heading for first. Does the run count?
Highland Heights, OH - 7/7/12
Here is the situation. Runner on second takes a large
lead and takes off for third base without the pitcher even noticing him. The
runner was standing on third as the pitcher was in his motion but had not yet
thrown the pitch. The pitch is thrown and the batter pops out to the 2nd
Baseman. The runner stays standing on third, the 2nd Baseman tags 2nd and the
runner is called out by the umpire. Was this the right call? I believe that
since the runner had already stolen/advanced to the next base prior to the
pitcher throwing the pitch the runner did not need to return to his previous
base on the pop fly. Any help would be appreciated.
Petersburg, IL - 6/12/12
Bases loaded, 2 outs. Batter hits ball to second
baseman, second basemen trys to tag R1, but he leaves the base path to avoid tag and is called out. Does the R3 runner score?
NY - 6/8/12
No. This is still considered a force play as the runner is forced to 2nd.
In the bottom half of the last inning of a 7-7 game the
home team has bases loaded and two outs. The next batter up gets a hit to the
gap, the runner on third touches home, the runner on first touches 2nd and the
batter touches first. However the runner on second never touches third and goes
into home to celebrate. Does the run count and is the game over?
Akron, OH - 5/4/12
Does any level of baseball allow the following line-up
creativity? The coach hands over his line-up at the pre-game meeting, and in the
1st slot he has listed one player as the "pitcher/DH". However, there is no DH
(no other player batting for the pitcher) in the line-up. He wants the option of
being able to remove his pitcher, who was hitting for himself during the game,
bring in another pitcher from the bench and still have his original pitcher in
the game as the DH for the new pitcher for the remainder of the game. He said
his college coach used to do this all the time. This was in a NFHS game, so no
go, but is that legal in college or anywhere?
Norton Shores, MI - 5/2/12
Yes. The pitcher may DH for himself under NCAA rules. This is not permitted under NFHS rules.
Batter hits a line drive and hits the base umpire,
bounces off the BU and is caught. Is it a live ball?
Canada - 4/19/12
Had a coach extemely sure of this, so I told him I knew
who to ask: Runner on first, no outs. The pitcher intentionally stands on the
rubber as to pitch from the windup position (right handed pitcher) He steps
back off the rubber with his right foot, and as he is stepping off, he raises
his hands together (with right hand and ball in glove) over his head. After
stepping off with his right foot, he throws to first and picks off the runner.
The coach says balk becuase of the hands. What do you think?
Denton, Tx - 4/1/12
This is deceptive and a balk. Before the pitcher can move his hands in this manner without throwing the pitch, he must completely step off the rubber.
Batter bunts, the firstbaseman fields it and the runner
starts and backs up toward home. I contend the batter is automatically out. What is the exact rule/case that covers this?
Austin Texas - 3/25/12
Situation: Runner on 3rd base, 2 outs, bottom of last
inning. Batter hits game winning home run over fence. R3 scores and B/R is
mobbed by teammates prior to reaching 1st base and en masse return to dugout. Is
there a RULE that would allow an appeal on the batter for never touching 1st
base? Fielders and umpires still on field when batter returned to dugout and ball is requested by catcher to make an appeal.
Florida - 3/22/12
A local field has the foul poles mounted inside the
fence of the playing field. What would the ruling be if a batted ball hit the pole and:
1. Ricocheted foul; 2. Ricocheted fair over the fence; 3. Hit the pole above the
fence and bounced into the playing field.
Scranton, PA - 3/21/12
1. Ground rule double. 2/ Home Run. 3/ Live ball in play.
High School rule 3-1-4. I had seen that there is an
addition rule that a pitcher in high school can be listed as dh/1 and dh for
himself. Example would be he is listed in line up as dh pitcher and when he gets
done pitching he goes to bench but will still hit for who ever replaces him on
the mound. Is this a rule that was added to 3-1-4, if so where can i get documentation on it.
Phelan California - 3/12/12
What is the rule for a pitcher and batting switching
from lefty or righty during an at bat in Babe Ruth League? We were discussing
this at an Umpire training class and I read about the guy from the Yankees but
our head Umpire said the pitcher cannot change sides during the at bat and the
batter can change every pitch if he wants to.. See below.
Ellicott City, MD - 3/4/12
I umpire high school baseball and we had a
training meeting.The subject of batter interference came up.The instructor said
that there has to be a throw by the catcher for batter interference to be called? Yes or No.
Absolutely not.(Reference Yankee l/r pitcher Pat Venditte) Suppose a switchhitter faces "switchpitcher" Venditte: who controls the at-bat, pitcher or hitter?. It seems to me that the batter must declare when he steps into the batter's box as lh or rh. Then the pitcher, still not on the rubber, adjusts to the batter. then each must remain as declared for that at-bat.
Bases loaded,one out, batter bunts a ball foul but is rolling
back into fair territory and the catcher intentionally scoops the foul ball up
with his mask that he is holding in his throwing hand. Is this a legal play or should the runners and batter runner be awarded bases?
Chicopee MA - 2 /8/12
Runner on 3rd, 1 out, 3-2 count on batter. Runner steals home
but ball hits runner in strike zone as he's crossing the plate. What's the call? Does the run score?
Michigan - 1/4/12
See 5.09(h): Any legal pitch touches a runner trying to score; runner advance.
Is a runner out if he is struck by a fair ball while
standing on a base. If so or not, what about the batter runner?
Chicopee, MA - 12/7/11
Phillies last out was by Ryan Howard who blew out his
achillies and colasped 10 feet from batters box on a ground out. If that was a
home run and he couldn't circle the bases, what would have happened?
E. Rutherford, NJ - 10/9/11
Bases loaded two out in the bottom half of the 7th
inning score tied and the batter walks forcing in the winning run When this
happens the base runner at first begins to celebrate the win and does not
advance to second. The team in the field appeals at second and the runner is called out Does the run score or not?
If there are bases loaded, 2 outs and a batter hits a
home run, then proceeds to pass the runner on first base, he is called out which
ends the inning. The question is: if the runner on third touches home plate before the batter is called out, does the run count?
Boulder, Co.- 8/27/11
Runners on 1st and 3rd,1 out-fly ball hit to outfield is
caught for 2nd out. Both runners took off never tagging up, thinking ball would
not be caught. Runner on 3rd scored . After ball was caught, fielder threw to
1st for 3rd out since runner did not tag up. If ball is not thrown to 3rd for essentally 4th out, would the run count?
Grove Hill, Al. - 7/19/11
American legion playoff game: 2 outs, 2 strikes on
batter swings and misses the the pitch is the dirt, dropped 3rd strike, ball
bounces off the catcher and rolls into fair territory and hits the batter in
fair territory as he is running to first. Is the batter runner out for being
hit with a live ball in fair territory?
Charlottesville,VA,USA - 7/17/11
There is one out and a runner on first. The batter hits
a fly ball to center and the center fielder dives for the ball but drops it. The
original runner on first went to second but thought the center fielder caught
the ball so starts back to first. By doing so the batter passes the runner and
proceeds to score. The original runner then realizes that the fielder dropped
the ball and turns and he scores. Who should be out and should any runs count?
Parma, Ohio - 6/13/11
The batter-runner is immediately out when he passes the runner. The ball remains live and in play. The original runner scores.
Bases loaded, bottom of 9th, 2 outs, tie score. Base on
balls to batter Runner on 3rd reaches home and is mobbed by team. Runner on
2nd joins mob before touching 3rd, does the run score?
Grand Junction, CO - 6/1/11
My son plays
baseball in WI. They follow NFHS rules. I issue came up about a bunt being a
strike simply holding the bat over the plate. I need you help! Here is the ump's response:
Hi Dan. As follow-up and fyi I maintain my original opinion that holding the bat out over the plate is an attempted swing (or strike at the ball) and thus is a strike regardless of where the pitch is. There is no rule 2.0 in the NFHS 2011 rule book. My judgment remains the same based on rule 7-2b "a strike is charged to the batter when: a pitch is struck at and missed (even if the pitch touches the batter)." I am not familiar with who that is you referred to in your links below but I have to go by what I see in the NFHS 2011 official rule book. I have not found any specific description regarding holding the bat out over the plate as not being a strike in the rule book. Therefore in my judgment I believe rule 7-2b to be what best explains this situation. In my opinion I believe the bat being left out over the plate for an attempted bunt as a strike or swing at the ball I would be happy to reconsider my opinion should there be a specific rule pointed out that I can see explains this situation.
Brookfield, WI - 5/31/11
After the third out is made and the teams are exchanging
sides, F4 picks up the ball and in jest throws a warm-up pitch to the catcher.
Is he now a pitcher? In my opinion, NO. Although he may become an unreported
substitute, play has yet to commence and therefore should not be made to play that position.
York, PA - 5/23/11
Bases loaded. Pitcher delivers pitch to catcher. Runner
on first proceeds to second (steal attempt). The runner on second stays on the
base. True or false: the runner caught in the base path can be put out by
tagging first base with ball in hand. The runner does not have to be tagged to
be out unless the runner on second leaves the base toward third, correct? Just happened tonight. Thank you.
Louisville, KY - 5/17/11
He must be tagged.
Situation: Bases loaded and base hit to left center
field that the left fielder fields. Runner at 3rd base scores easily but runner
from second rounding third base collides with third basemen and both fall down.
Delayed interference is indicated by home plate umpire. At this time, runner
from first base rounds second base hard heading towards third and would have
made it easily but sees runner ahead of him and third basemen are on the ground and
stops He heads back to second base and left fielder throws behind him with
second basemen on the bag and tags him out. This happened in my game last
night. Why would the runner rounding second base at a minimum be rewarded
second base? He obviously stopped because he saw the two players on the ground
ahead of him at third base and retreated back to second.
Wyanet, Illinois - 5/12/11
Bases loaded, 2 outs, the hitter hits the ball to short
centerfield, the runner from 1st Base is out at 2nd base ( the throw to 2nd by
the CF beats the runner to 2nd) but the runner who is fast crosses home plate
before the runner is out at 2nd base. The questions is: Does the run count
because he touched home plate before the out at 2nd base?
Brooklyn, NY - 5/11/11
The batter swings at the third strike and
misses...the catcher drops the ball.
The batters follow through with the bat makes contact with the ball that the
catcher has dropped, knocking it out of reach.
Is the batter out for interference?
Arizona - 5/5/11
Yes. Any runners go back.
Runners on second and third, one out. Batter hits a low liner to center.
Runner on second thinks it will drop and runs towards third, while runner on
third tags. Centerfielder catches the line drive at his feet and trips a
little. Then the runner on third, after tagging correctly, heads for home.
Centerfielder gets control and throws home. The pitcher, realizing the runner
has crossed home, cuts off the throw and then throws to second to get runner who
did not tag up. This makes the third out, a force out, but it comes after the
runner crossed home plate. Question: Does the run count?
Fallbrook, Ca.- 5/3/11
Can a coach have a stopwatch in the coaches box? I am
Green Bay, WI - 4/15/11
Under NFHS rules, a stopwatch is permitted.I umpire High School baseball in the spring (NFHS) and Legion and VFW in the summer (Major League rules). At a rules meeting this week, we discussed the obstruction rule in the NFHS rule book. In the rules, it states the runner gets one base past the one he had legally obtained. The play we discussed was a pick-off play on a base runner leading off at second base. I am unclear on the correct NFHS rule interpretation if the runner is obstructed. In the Major League rule book, I believe the runner would be awarded second base, regardless of safe or out. However, with the rule stated differently in the high school rule book, would the runner be awarded third? Or would the ruling matter if the runner was out or safe on the play? We came up with a good idea of the interpretation, I am just not confident we made the correct one. If there is any insight you could provide, I would greatly appreciate it. Love the resources your site provides... thank you for the great source for umpire information!
In baseball, the lower and upper edge of the strike zone
is determined by the batters stance. What is the smallest possible distance
between those edges - or in other way - how much can the batter crouch to make
the strike zone as smallest as possible (lets consider he doesn't want to hit,
just earn walk). Would the umpire really let that batter to speculate like this
with out any persecution? Or would he just set the strike zone according to his view?
Bratislava, Slovakia, Europe - 2/18/11
NFHS rules: One out, runner on second,
line drive hits second baseman's glove then hits the 2nd base umpire, then is
caught by the centerfielder. Do you have a catch, is it umpires interference or is the ball still live
Waukomis, Oklahoma - 2/3/11
1st and 3rd-the runner at 1st takes his lead by backing up
more than 3 feet towards RF. Is his baseline now established from where he
begins towards second base? If the 1st Baseman plays on the 2nd base side of the
runner and we throw to the 1st baseman who will have the ball and be between the
runner and 2nd base. If the runner has established his baseline as being 5 feet
behind 1st base, will he be out when he tries to go BACK to first or is he
allowed to have what is essentially a triangular baseline?
Austin, Texas - 1/27/11
What if a coach requests TO for an injury to F1 & it's his 2nd
visit to the mound that inning with the same pitcher. Is the coach circumventing
the charged conference limitations by requesting a TO to visit F1
for the 2nd time by placing him at a different defensive position after the
visit? Or, is it still not a charged conference if the coach's request comes
prior to the trip out to the mound for an injury? I ruled no charged trip
on the coach's request during a recent American Legion game (Pro Rules). Some
colleagues believe the coach was attempting to circumvent the trip rule by requesting a TO for an injury.
Norwich, CT - 12/1/10
I have a baseball player that has a
Easton Sc900 Stealth Bat Optiflex Reg BESR Certified -3. It is a BST8 33" 30 oz
2 5/8" barrel. Can you tell me if this bat is legal for 2010 based on the new
rules. We are confused on the changes.
Ironton, MO - 8/25/10
Man on 1st..dropped third strike..man on
1st takes off for second, batter runs up the line about half way, when the 1st
basemen catches the throw from home he's not on the bag and comes down the line
to make the tag and the runner start to back up toward home to avoid being
tagged. Is the batter runner out for backing up or not until he's tagged? or??
do we call him out for backing up right off?.
Yelm, Washington - 8/19/10
The batter is out if he retreats to and touches the plate.
Can a high school catcher in Georgia wear
a two piece helmet (batting helmet style cap with face mask instead of a hockey
style helmet and facemask?
Atlanta, Georgia - 8/7/10
Yes, but only if they were manufactured, tested and approved as a single unit.
First baseman holding runner on base with one foot
completely out of fair territory. Pitcher pitches to batter and pitch is called
a strike. Since first baseman's foot is out of fair territory, what is the
call? According to rule, I don't see a penalty for this even though everyone is
supposed to be in fair territory. I believe a warning should be issued and if
it happens again, a sportsmanship call (mockery of game) be called against first
baseman. I don't think a balk can be be called, either. Please provide
Lincolnton, North Carolina - 6/16/10
There is no call here. The PBUC Umpire Manual clear states (3.16) that the umpires not insist that he play with both feet in fair territory unless the offensive team protests. In that case, the ruling should be enforced against both teams. If a 1st baseman persists, the only penalty would be ejection.
Runners in first and second base, there is an attempt by the runner in second base to steal third base, the catcher attempts to make the play at third but when he makes his throw to third base it hit the batter's bat who had remained in the batter's box after the pitch has been delivered. The ball goes into the home team's dugout and the
runners advance on base. I argued that there was an interference by the batter as it prevented, unaware
perchance, the play taken place at second. What is you view of it? Was the umpire right in allowing the runners to advance one base or does the ball become dead when it hit the batter? please e-mail me your answer as soon as you can as we have put the game under protest and have three days in which we must go ahead with the appeal or retire our protest.
London, United Kingdom - 6/14/10
The umpire is mostly correct. The batter can not de-materialize. If the batter holds his position in the box, it is up to the catcher to make a proper throw. The ball remains live until it goes out of play. The runner is awarded 2 bases.
A player was ejected from the game. Is it an automatic out each time his turn at bat comes up? What exceptions to the rule are there i.e. injuries. Thanks Steve. Great site.
Oxford, Michigan - 6/12/10
Runners on 1B and 3B, with two outs. Ground ball is hit to 2B. Fielder tags out runner going to 2B after runner from 3B has crossed HP. Does the run count? I'm thinking no, but need to be sure.
Brookings, SD - 5/26/10
It's still a force out and the run does not score.
Sharp hit ball down 1st base line, bounds off 1st baseman's gloves and rolls in to foul territory. 1st baseman retrieves and with ball in glove reaches to touch 1st base with free hand. Safe or out? And would this apply to any other force at any base?
Westminster, South Carolina, USA - 5/24/10
Out if he beats the batter-runner to 1st base, and yes.
Can an outfielder catch a ball by the fence and fall over the breakaway fence - is it an out or homerun?
Annanadale, NJ - 5/17/10
If the ball is caught and the outfielder falls over the fence in possession, it's a catch.; If the pushes his way through the fence and then makes the catch, it's a HR.
What is the penalty for illegal defensive substitution? Example: 2 players in the same batting position on the field at the same time.
Richmond, VA - 5/11/10
The illegal substitute would be ejected upon discovery. If he was discovered directly after being involved in a play, the opposing coach would have the choice of taking the play or the batter batting again.
The infield huddled at the pitcher mound and went back to their positions. The 2nd baseman has the ball hidden in his glove. The pitcher is on the pitcher's mound. Believe he was on the rubber. The runner leads off of 2nd base waiting to steal. The 2nd baseman tags the runner and umpire calls him out. The coaches from the other team tells the umpire the pitcher was on the pitcher mound, therefore, the out is not valid. Is this true?
Jacksonville, FL/USA - 4/21/10
Under HS rules, if he is on or astride the rubber or within approx. 5 feet of the of the rubber without the ball it is a balk and the runner is not out. (6-2-5)
Runner going from 1st to 2nd on a hit to to shortstop. SS throws to 2nd baseman, runner goes in straight up and then 2nd has to throw a lob to 1st. I need a ruling on sliding, according to high school rules.
McKinney, Texas - 4/10/10
The runner never has to slide. However, if the runner causes the pivot man to alter his throw, it is interference. The runner and the batter-runner are both out.
On a tag up for a fly ball, the runner can leave the base once the ball is touched or caught? What if the ball hits the fielders glove and bounces in the air and then he catches it. Can that runner advance on the touch or does he have to wait for fielder to have control?
Pleasant Garden, NC - 4/7/10
On the touch.
Runners on 1st & 2nd, 1 out. Batter swings and hits a spinning dribbler down first base line very close to line. First baseman sprinting in gets to ball and kicks ball into first base dugout while ball is still in FOUL territory. The ball would have definitely gone fair had it not bee touched foul. Call foul ball, batter returns to box with 1-2 count and runners return base at time of pitch. Offensive coach says ball cannot be intentionally kick out of bounds if it could have become a fair ball.
Canbridge City, Indiana - 3/18/10
This is legal. Once that ball is touched in any manner in foul territory by the defense, it is a foul ball.
About the February rules answer. "Bases loaded, one out and a 1 and 1 count. The runner on third gets a good jump and tries to steal home. As he slides over the plate, the pitch hits him in the strike zone and bounces a few feet away. The catcher recovers in time to nail the runner from second trying for third." Suppose the pitch is actually the third strike, which would have recorded the third out of the inning. Does the run still count?
Manassas, VA - 3/1/10
No. With 2 strikes and 2 out, the pitch is strike 3 and the half-inning is over. (6.05n)
What happens if a player is listed twice on the line up card and it isn't caught at the beginning of the game? It means that one player is not on the line up card. If that player comes up and gets a hit and then an appeal is made, does the hit count?
Templeton, California - 2/11/10
I was recently told by an academy coach that NFHS rules do not allow the top edge of the pitcher's glove to be above chin level when he comes to his set position. Is this true, false, or a gray area?
Woodside, California - 2/3/10
Years ago the rules stated that the entire glove had to be below the chin. Currently, only a portion of the glove must be below the chin.
Created February 14, 2010
Steve Orinick is not liable in any way for any event or situation whatsoever arising from these responses, including errors, omissions or negative consequences, perceived or otherwise. All answers are purely personal opinion. Proceed at your own risk! Check with your local association for specific interpretations.
Answers copyright 2010-2015 Steve Orinick. All rights reserved.