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Thread: Dropped third

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    Checking out the clubhouse Arm and Hammer's Avatar
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    Default Dropped third

    So the drop third (or uncaught third) strike rule reads as such:
    When the catcher fails to catch the third strike before the ball touches the ground when;
    1. With fewer than two outs and first base is unoccupied at the time of the pitch, or
    2. There are two outs and first base is occupied. This is called the third strike rule.
    Or like this:
    The Batter becomes a Batter-Runner when the catcher fails to catch the third strike before the ball touches the ground and there are:
    1. Fewer than two outs and first base is not occupied at the time of the pitch, or
    2. Any time there are two outs.

    So with 2 out AND 1st base occupied, on a drop third the batter is allowed to attempt to advance to 1st base.
    Questions is, what happens if bases are loaded with two strikes on batter and two outs and a drop third occurs? Can anyone find in the ASA rule book were this situation is covered?

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    Softball Junkie cshilt's Avatar
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    There is no difference. With two outs the batter-runner and any additional runners may advance with the liability to be putout on an uncaught third strike. The force remains, however, and the catcher may gain control of the ball and step on home plate to record a force out.

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    MTR
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    Certified softball maniac MTR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arm and Hammer View Post
    So the drop third (or uncaught third) strike rule reads as such:
    When the catcher fails to catch the third strike before the ball touches the ground when;
    1. With fewer than two outs and first base is unoccupied at the time of the pitch, or
    2. There are two outs and first base is occupied. This is called the third strike rule.
    Or like this:
    The Batter becomes a Batter-Runner when the catcher fails to catch the third strike before the ball touches the ground and there are:
    1. Fewer than two outs and first base is not occupied at the time of the pitch, or
    2. Any time there are two outs.

    So with 2 out AND 1st base occupied, on a drop third the batter is allowed to attempt to advance to 1st base.
    Questions is, what happens if bases are loaded with two strikes on batter and two outs and a drop third occurs? Can anyone find in the ASA rule book were this situation is covered?
    If the bases are loaded, is 1B occupied?

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    Softball Junkie FPMark's Avatar
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    With less than 2 outs, 1st has to be unoccupied to keep the defence from intentionally dropping the 3rd strike in order to turn an easy DP. Just like the infield fly rule. If there were no outs, bases loaded, catcher drops the 3rd strike on purpose, picks up the ball, steps on home and throws to 1st... not allowed. With 2 outs there is no advantage to drop the 3rd strike.

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    I can talk softball all day 99&beyond's Avatar
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    somewhere recently on here, I posted my DD's adventure with this.

    3rd strike, bases loaded, 2 outs, she dropped the ball. Batter takes off to 1st. DD sees runner take off for 2nd and throws to 2nd. 2nd gets the tag and throws it to 3rd who also gets the tag, plus the runner going from 2nd to 3rd. All in all we wound up with much excitement and 5 outs when all she had to do was step on home plate.

    I did notice the other night she just stepped on the plate.

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    Administrator Ken Krause's Avatar
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    Always nice to see progress. :-)
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    Checking out the clubhouse Arm and Hammer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTR View Post
    If the bases are loaded, is 1B occupied?
    Yes it is quite obvious that’s what the rule would indicate, but I couldn’t quite understand it, or why it would be applied that way in that situation. There are some strange things that happen at the beginning and intermediate levels that expose all kinds of weird situations and rule applications. This was one of them. It may be common knowledge for some, but for me, it was an absolute head scratcher. I not only want to know what the rule is, but “WHY” it is as well. FPMARKS explanation is helpful to clarify the matter and understand why it is, the way it is. At first I thought, well that’s silly, all the catcher would have to do is just touch home plate. Then I was thinking more about it, considering this is more than just a “dropped third rule” , it is an “uncaught rule” , theoretically a wild pitch could occur, missing the catcher altogether while the “inexperienced” batter at the beginner level could actually swing at the uncatchable ball. With two outs and two strikes, bases loaded, it would seem plausible that all advancing runners could be safe on the play……
    I just never considered the various scenarios of why this rule would be applied that way.
    Weird stuff happens at the rec ball level!

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    Softball Junkie BretMan's Avatar
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    This rule originated in baseball around the turn of the century (the last century, not this one!). Originally the batter was entitled to try for first base on any uncaught third strike. Crafty catchers soon found a way to exploit this loophole in the rules, in much the same manner as infielders at one time could milk an infield fly ball for extra easy outs.

    Imagine if the rule had never been changed to exclude running when first base is occupied:

    Runner on first base, two strikes to the batter. The batter swings and misses strike three. The catcher then puropsely drops the ball.

    Under the original rules the batter was not out and bound to advance to first. The poor runner on first base- who most likely was staying close to the bag on a strike right to the catcher's mitt- would be a dead duck on a force play at second. One more quick throw and the batter would easily be retired at first. The result- a cheap double play when one out should have been the likely outcome. And if there was more than one runner on base a triple play wasn't out of the question!

    The early baseball rulesmakers closed this loophole by crafting the third strike rule. If there are less than two outs and first base is occupied, the batter is automatically out on strike three, whether it is caught or not.

    How about with less than two strikes and first base not occupied? With first base unoccupied, there are no force outs to be gained at any of the bases. Purposely dropping the ball offers no advantage to the defense. In that case, the defense still has to complete the play, either by catching the pitch, fielding the ball to first base or tagging the batter.

    Why the exception when there are two outs? Not only would purposely dropping the ball not give the defense any advantage with two outs, it would frankly be rather stupid! Just catch the pitch and the inning is over. Purposely dropping the ball with two outs would actually be a big disadvantage to the defense, as it would require additional ball handling, a throw or a tag, to retire the batter and get out of the inning.

    About thirty years after baseball adopted this rule, ASA wrote the first official rules of softball. Many of the existing baseball rules were copied verbatim, including the third strike rule, where it survives today to confuse and confound players, coaches and spectators alike!
    Last edited by BretMan; 04-13-2011 at 05:56 PM.
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    Certified softball maniac obbay's Avatar
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    When the catcher fails to catch the third strike before the ball touches the ground
    I recently had an ump tell me that if a third strike hits the ground before it gets to the catcher, it is played as a dropped 3rd strike. I didn't get it then and with the historical explanation, it still doesn't make sense.

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    Checking out the clubhouse BROBO's Avatar
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    I had a Hitter forget the count, so the catcher dropped what she thought was strike three but was actually strike two. The batter then took off to first thinking it was a dropped third. There was a runner on third and 1 out, so when the catcher threw to first the runner on third scored. The umpire then called the batter (with two strikes on her) out for "deception" and sent the runner back to third. It didn't make any sense to me on the ruling because just as the batter should have known the count, the catcher has got to know the count as well. I thought at the very least the runner goes back to third and finishes her at bat. I looked up a deception rule and didn't find anything. Does anyone have any info? Does it fall under Unsportsmanlike conduct?

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