Batter hit catcher with bat

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Aug 25, 2019
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I just umpired a middle school game. Girl gets up, gets a hit, and on the follow through hit the catcher, not bad, so I told the catcher”hey, that comes with the position”. The 2nd at bat the same girl did the same thing, got a hit, hit the catcher, this time on the arm which stung the catcher, but she stayed in. I warned the coach and player, if it happens again, she gonna be out. Sure enough, she did it a third time, on catchers shin guards, so I called dead ball and called batter out and had runner on first return to base. The coach had no problem with it, but I’m thinking now, is that even legal? I guess I could argue safety, or maybe sportsmanship, but I’m not sure, what to do in this situation?
 
Jun 8, 2016
16,118
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I just umpired a middle school game. Girl gets up, gets a hit, and on the follow through hit the catcher, not bad, so I told the catcher”hey, that comes with the position”. The 2nd at bat the same girl did the same thing, got a hit, hit the catcher, this time on the arm which stung the catcher, but she stayed in. I warned the coach and player, if it happens again, she gonna be out. Sure enough, she did it a third time, on catchers shin guards, so I called dead ball and called batter out and had runner on first return to base. The coach had no problem with it, but I’m thinking now, is that even legal? I guess I could argue safety, or maybe sportsmanship, but I’m not sure, what to do in this situation?
In baseball I think there is a “backswing interference” rule. Not sure that applies here. I know in t-ball if you throw the bat after you hit, after you have been warned, they kick you to the showers 😂
 
Last edited:
May 29, 2015
3,665
113
I just umpired a middle school game. Girl gets up, gets a hit, and on the follow through hit the catcher, not bad, so I told the catcher”hey, that comes with the position”. The 2nd at bat the same girl did the same thing, got a hit, hit the catcher, this time on the arm which stung the catcher, but she stayed in. I warned the coach and player, if it happens again, she gonna be out. Sure enough, she did it a third time, on catchers shin guards, so I called dead ball and called batter out and had runner on first return to base. The coach had no problem with it, but I’m thinking now, is that even legal? I guess I could argue safety, or maybe sportsmanship, but I’m not sure, what to do in this situation?

I'm confused. Is she throwing the bat or just getting the catcher on the follow through? If it is follow through, the catcher needs to move her butt back.

If it was a thrown bat, It depends on the code.
  • USSSA has a warn-eject procedure, but not a mechanism for a punitive out (unless it is interference).
  • USA has nothing for accidentals. An out can be called if it is interference.
  • NFHS only allows an out if it is interference, nothing punitive for an accidental.
  • I believe somebody once told me Little League may have an out provision, but I don't call LL so I'm not sure.
  • House rules for rec leagues will typically implement something like this.

@pattar is correct that NFHS Baseball has a veritable buffet of glove/bat connections: catcher's obstruction, backswing interference, and follow through interference.
 
Aug 25, 2019
1,066
113
I'm confused. Is she throwing the bat or just getting the catcher on the follow through? If it is follow through, the catcher needs to move her butt back.

If it was a thrown bat, It depends on the code.
  • USSSA has a warn-eject procedure, but not a mechanism for a punitive out (unless it is interference).
  • USA has nothing for accidentals. An out can be called if it is interference.
  • NFHS only allows an out if it is interference, nothing punitive for an accidental.
  • I believe somebody once told me Little League may have an out provision, but I don't call LL so I'm not sure.
  • House rules for rec leagues will typically implement something like this.
l
@pattar is correct that NFHS Baseball has a veritable buffet of glove/bat connections: catcher's obstruction, backswing interference, and follow through interference.
It was throwing bat all three times, USA rules. It wasn’t interference, just reckless throwing, I guess I shouldn’t have done anything.
 
Mar 1, 2013
392
43
Kept happening to me last night but I was taking the brunt. Fortunately each time was on the armor. I asked the coaches to remind them to not throw the bats at me. But as noted no real mechanism/rule for an out there. If you think it’s deliberate then you can eject for conduct.

I do call a league with the house rule allowing an automatic out for “recklessly discarding the bat so as to injure another player”. This one doesn’t have that though.
 
Mar 14, 2017
453
43
Michigan
  • I believe somebody once told me Little League may have an out provision, but I don't call LL so I'm not sure.
I've coached LL for a lot of years and there never was a bat throwing rule. You could eject for safety, but that was it. I'm not saying it wasn't added or subtracted at some point, but there wasn't when I was involved from the 90s-2010s.

I've seen a lot of coaches who have said it was a rule, and a lot of umps call it, but it's not in the rulebook.
 
May 29, 2015
3,665
113
If I only had a buck for each time I heard a coach say, "That's a rule, I'm sure of it"

"Nah, nah, nah ... They changed that last year!"


Here is an MLB perspective:

Scary considering the catcher's history.
 

Cannonball

Ex "Expert"
Feb 25, 2009
4,822
113
Jul 2, 2013
379
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I've coached LL for a lot of years and there never was a bat throwing rule. You could eject for safety, but that was it. I'm not saying it wasn't added or subtracted at some point, but there wasn't when I was involved from the 90s-2010s.

I've seen a lot of coaches who have said it was a rule, and a lot of umps call it, but it's not in the rulebook.

DS team was playing in LL regionals last year and their leadoff had a tendency to let go of his bat more than throw it. I don't believe it ever hit anyone, but it hit the fence hard a couple of times. I'm not sure if it's an actual rule or not but the umps did warn him and the coach in more than one game that if he did it again they would toss him.
 

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