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Some rules to Ponder.......

Aug 25, 2019
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These are USSSA rules, some random scenarios I get for a refresher for Umpires, or for coaches, even for parents......And since this is the rules section, here you go....

11. The batter enters the batter's box and assumes her stance with part of her foot a) outside the line, or b) touching the line of the batter's box.

Ruling - in a), ILLEGAL. The plate umpire should hold up the pitcher from pitching the ball and ask the batter to place her foot on or inside the lines of the box. If the batter refuses, the umpire will call a strike after 10 seconds. In b), legal. Prior to the pitch, the batter must have both feet completely in the batter's box. The batter may touch the lines, but no part of the foot may be outside the lines prior to the pitch. (7.4.A, p 38; 7-8, p 39)

12. Prior to starting the delivery (pitch), F1 takes a position with a) her pivot foot on top of the pitcher's plate, b) the heel or toe of her pivot foot in contact with the pitcher's plate, or c) neither foot in contact with the pitcher's plate.

Ruling - in a) and b), legal; in c), ILLEGAL. As long at the pivot foot is in contact with the pitcher's plate, the position is legal. (6.1.A, p 34)

13. R1 is on second base. The third base coach yells at R1 to run hard if the batter gets a single. This was done a) as B2 is taking her position in the batter's box, or b) after requesting time when the ball was returned to F1 in the circle.

Ruling - in a), this is NOT a charged conference. In b), CHARGED OFFENSIVE CONFERENCE. A charged conference takes place when a coach or bench personnel requests time-out to meet with offensive or defensive personnel. (2.CONFERENCE, CHARGED, p. 20)

14. The batter-runner, after being ruled safe at first, returns and stands only on the colored (foul) portion of the double base. The ball is returned to the pitcher. As the pitcher begins to deliver the next pitch, the base umpire notices that R1's feet are not touching any part of the white (fair) portion of the double base.

Ruling - LEGAL. After the batter-runner initially reaches first base, the runner and any fielder may use the white or colored base. (8.19.E, p 53)

15. There is a runner on third base. The plate umpire, without calling "Time", turns her back on the field and sweeps off home plate. R1 attempts to score and collides with the plate umpire.

Ruling - DEAD BALL. When the plate umpire made the move to sweep home plate, "Time" is judged to have been called. The ball is dead and R1 is sent back to third base. (10.5.D, p 58)
 
May 29, 2015
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15 needs more information. I may have a dead ball out or a run scored. (I don’t like that interpretation, but I do appreciate a code that spells it out.)

A few years ago I worked with a partner who asked me “Why do you always call time before you sweep the plate? Once the pitcher has the ball in the circle, the runner can’t go anywhere.” At the moment, my answer was “I don’t know, habit.”

Game 2 of the double-header and he is behind the plate. We have a runner on third after a play was made at the plate. My partner steps around to sweep off the plate. Fortunately, I saw this coming: As he does this, the pitcher sets her glove and the ball down to adjust her hair tie. There goes the runner! The pitcher just looks at her, “defenseless” as both her hands were pulling at her ponytail.

The runner scoots past my partner and touches the plate as he utters a “What the ... ?”

I hustle to get in as I see the defensive coach already starting to rush out of the dugout yelling “She can’t do that!“

I cut him off before he can get to my partner. “I’ve got this coach.” The coach thinks I am on his side and backs down.

My partner and I walk a few steps away to confer. I am grinning from ear to ear ...

My partner asks “Are you sending her back or calling her out?”

I keep grinning. “Did you call time?”

He says, “Well ... no.”

”Then she scores ... the pitcher set the ball and her glove down. She was not in control of the ball. The runner can run unless you called time. That’s why I call time every time.”
 
Aug 25, 2019
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16. Team A is playing short with only 8 players. B8 injures herself while running to first base. Since they have no substitutes, they carry the injured player to her position in right field and lean her against the fence in fair territory.

Ruling - Legal. In order to field the minimum number of players on defense, this may be necessary in to continue the game -- if no substitutes are available. Under no circumstances is a team allowed to have less than 8 players in the lineup. Even if a substitute becomes available, she must first fill the space occupied by the Absent Player (the missing ninth player). (5.2, p 30)

17. The DP, a) plays third base in the second inning, second base in the fourth inning, center field in the sixth inning, and then b) pitches for the FLEX in the seventh inning while the FLEX sits on the bench.

Ruling - In a), the changes are all legal. The DP may play defense for a player other than the FLEX player. That player will continue to bat but not play defense, and is not considered to have left the game. In b), legal; the FLEX is considered to have left the game, and the number of players is reduced by one. The plate umpire would have to be notified of this change or the DP would be an unreported substitution after a pitch (legal or illegal). (5.4.F, p 31)

18. A slow rolling batted ball hits a discarded bat in a) foul territory and rolls fair before first or third base, where it is picked up by an infielder, or b) fair territory and rolls foul before first base or third base, where it is picked up by an infielder.

Ruling - in a) and b). FOUL BALL. A batted ball touching a foreign object in foul territory makes the ball a foul ball. The ball touching a foreign object in fair territory does not make the ball fair or foul until it is touched or comes to rest.(3.FOUL BALL, p 21)

19. The batter has a count of two strikes and swings and misses the next pitched ball, which makes contact with the ground behind home plate, for strike three. The batter heads for the dugout and steps one foot inside the dugout. The coach encourages the batter to run to first base. The batter advances safely to first base to the surprise of the defense.

Ruling - The plate umpire declares the batter-runner out as soon as she steps one foot inside the dugout or dead ball territory. (8.17.J, p 50)

Comment: Even if the batter-runner does not enter the dugout, the half-inning ends when the infielders leave the diamond. The purpose of this rule is to provide finality to the offense's "window of opportunity" for advancement. A runner must be actively attempting to advance when the infielders vacate the diamond in order to prevent the end of the half-inning; i.e., the batter-runner can not linger by the dugout, wait for the fielders to leave, and then begin running the bases.

20. There are runners on first and second base. The batter receives ball four. The batter-runner overruns first after touching the base. The batter-runner is then tagged with the ball while she is off first base.

Ruling - The batter-runner is ruled "Safe" at first base. If the batter-runner safely touches first base and then overslides or overruns it, she may immediately return without liability of being tagged out, provided there was no feint or attempt to advance to second base (8.18.I EXCEPTION, p 51)
 
May 29, 2015
1,590
113
16. Team A is playing short with only 8 players. B8 injures herself while running to first base. Since they have no substitutes, they carry the injured player to her position in right field and lean her against the fence in fair territory.

Ruling - Legal. In order to field the minimum number of players on defense, this may be necessary in to continue the game -- if no substitutes are available. Under no circumstances is a team allowed to have less than 8 players in the lineup. Even if a substitute becomes available, she must first fill the space occupied by the Absent Player (the missing ninth player). (5.2, p 30)
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This is one of those rules that clearly shows the rules weren't written with kids in mind. Seriously, you are going to encourage a team/coach to carry out an injured player, prop her/him up, and risk further injury just so you can keep playing?

I hope that rule is found under "D" in the index ... for "Dumbest idea ever, one of the".

Sorry, this is one of those that I would blatantly violate if I was umpiring and it happened.

TMIB: "Coach, what are you doing?"
Coach Chuckles: "We have to have eight. The rule book said we can do this."
TMIB: [shakes his head] "Coach ... I think she can play right field just fine from the bench. Take her back in and let's play."
 
Aug 25, 2019
187
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I believe the rule is, if you declare a player injured and take her out if the game, she cannot return under any circumstance. This scenario is an extreme just to show the rule,.
 
Aug 25, 2019
187
43
21. R1 is at first base with no outs. B2 hits a grounder towards F4, who scoops up the ball and a) tags R1 with the glove while the ball is in her bare hand, or b) tags second base with her bare hand while the ball is in the glove hand and prior to R1 reaching second base.

Ruling - in a), R1 is safe. To make a tag out on a runner, the fielder must touch the runner with a live ball or with the hand or glove in which the ball is securely held therein by the fielder. In b), R1 is out. The fielder, with the ball in the glove or hand, may touch the base with any part of her body when making a force out. (3.TAG OUT, p25; 8.18.I, p 51; 8.18.M, p 51)

22. There are no runners on base and B1 has a count of two balls and two strikes. On the next pitch, B1 checks her swing as the umpire calls the pitch a "Ball". F2 misses the pitched ball, races to the screen, and throws the ball to F3 standing on first base. F2 then turns to the plate umpire and asks him/her to get help on the check swing. Upon request, the base umpire rules "no swing". The offensive coach argues that a ball should be awarded to B1 as a penalty for not returning the ball directly to F1 after the pitch when there are no runners on base.

Ruling - B1 is NOT awarded an additional ball. F2 should not be penalized for trying to get an out on a check swing third strike. It does not matter that the plate umpire initially called the pitch a "ball". (6.2.B PENALTY, p 36)

23. B1 hits a pitched ball over the outfield fence for a home run. The third base coach slaps B1 on the back and grabs her by the hand as she rounds third base and propels her toward home plate.

Ruling - The coach's actions in this case are not considered physically assisting. He/she has not assisted a runner that was on base and is simply congratulating B1 on the home run. Common sense must prevail. (8.18.Y, p 53)

24. The umpire(s) notice that F1 has tape on her pitching hand a) when she assumes the pitching position, b) when she has her hands together, c) after she separates her hands to begin the pitch, or d) after a pitch to B1.

Ruling - in all cases, LEGAL. The pitcher's fingers, hand, wrist, forearm or elbow may be taped for injury, providing such tape is a neutral color. (6.1.I.2, p 36)

25. The defensive team protests that a run should not count because the play was a third out, force out.

Ruling - The protest is valid and should be UPHELD since it involves a rule interpretation. Runs scored do not count when the third out is a force out. (4.2.C.1, p 26; 13.4, p 60)
 
May 29, 2015
1,590
113
I believe the rule is, if you declare a player injured and take her out if the game, she cannot return under any circumstance. This scenario is an extreme just to show the rule,.
Perhaps a house rule (tournament or league). You won’t find that in any rule book.
 
May 29, 2015
1,590
113
24. The umpire(s) notice that F1 has tape on her pitching hand a) when she assumes the pitching position, b) when she has her hands together, c) after she separates her hands to begin the pitch, or d) after a pitch to B1.

Ruling - in all cases, LEGAL. The pitcher's fingers, hand, wrist, forearm or elbow may be taped for injury, providing such tape is a neutral color. (6.1.I.2, p 36)
NOTE: Illegal in NFHS.
 
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