In a passed ball or wild pitch situation when the pitcher comes out of the circle to cover home, I have seen games where the first baseman came into the circle to receive the ball from the catcher or pitcher when there was a runner on third. She then "safely" passes the ball to the pitcher when she gets in the circle. Does the first baseman's possession of the ball in the circle have the same effect as the pitcher having possession of the ball in the circle (ie. is it no longer a "live" ball)? A quick look at USSSA and ASA rules refers to the pitcher having the ball in the circle, thus it kind of made me question the strategy. I did witness one umpire state that only the pitcher can be in the circle. Can someone set me straight? Thanks!