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Some rules to Ponder.......

Jun 22, 2008
3,434
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Thinking of a slightly different version of your scenario.

Runner on second stealing, F6 obstructs. The ball is popped up, which allows the runner to get all the way to third. The ball is then caught.

Since she reached the base she would have reached without obstruction (third), does catching the pop-up count as a "subsequent play"? In this case, would the obstruction be nullified?

Also, the rule (looking at NFHS) says "an obstructed runner may not be called out between the two bases where she was obstructed." I don't like the word "between" there because it quite literally means anywhere in the space the exists from where second base ends and third base begins. "Between" doesn't cover the bases. (The numbers between 1 and 5 are 2, 3, and 4, not 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.) But I've learned from these discussions in the past that it's silly of me to expect the actual, literal definitions of words to matter when it comes to rule sets. Anyway, taken literally, in your example she could be called out since the out didn't occur between the bases. It occurred on second base.
The rule says subsequent play on a different runner. You are describing the initial play on a batted ball by a batter, that is not a subsequent play on a different runner.

And the rule on obstruction about "between" includes both bases.
 
Aug 25, 2019
369
43
USSSA RULES:

141. There are no runners on base. B1 hits a pitched ball sharply to F9 who scoops the ball up after one hop and throws it toward first base attempting to put out B1. The ball bounces past F3 and out of play, just as B1 reaches first base.

Ruling - DEAD BALL and a TWO BASE AWARD (first base and second base). When a live thrown ball (not a pitch) goes into dead ball territory, two bases are awarded based on runner position at the time the ball left the hand of the thrower (8.14.C.3, p 47; 8.15.C, p 48)

142. B1 swings at and misses a pitched ball for strike three, but the ball caroms off F2's glove toward first base. B1 starts to run toward first base when the ball takes a crazy hop into her path. She unintentionally kicks the loose ball and ends up safe at first base.

Ruling - DEAD BALL and INTERFERENCE; B1 is declared OUT. The batter-runner is OUT when she interferes with the catcher's attempt to field the ball after an uncaught third strike (8.17.A, p 49)

143. F2 obstructs B1's swing at a pitched ball. The batted ball is grounded toward F6, who throws B1 out at first base.

Ruling - DELAYED DEAD BALL is signaled and OBSTRUCTION is called, followed by a DEAD BALL at the conclusion of the play. When catcher obstruction occurs and the batter-runner reaches first base and all other runners (if any) advance at least one base, the infraction is ignored; otherwise, an OPTION PLAY is enforced. The coach of the offensive team is given the option of:

i) the PENALTY - the batter is awarded first base and all other runners advance only if forced by the award to the batter, OR

ii) the RESULT OF THE PLAY (in this case, B1 is out)

(8.4.E, p 42; 10.2.B, p 57)

144. F2 attempts to pick off R1 at first base. R1 collides with F3, who is standing in the base path, a split second before she catches the ball. R1 does not make it back to the bag and F3 tags her out.

Ruling - DELAYED DEAD BALL is signaled and OBSTRUCTION is called, followed by a DEAD BALL when the obstructed runner is put out. R1 is awarded first base, the base she would have reached had there been no obstruction (8.13.EFFECT, p 46; 10.3, p 57)

Comment: the fielder cannot block the runner from the base unless she has the ball. "ABOUT TO RECEIVE" on a thrown ball is IRRELEVANT TO THE OBSTRUCTION RULE

145. At the pre-game conference, an adult coach has verified that all the team's players are legally and properly equipped. Once the game has started, the umpire(s) notice a fielder wearing dangerous jewelry.

Ruling - ILLEGAL; the jewelry must be removed immediately. For a first offense, a TEAM WARNING is issued; for a subsequent offense, the offender is RESTRICTED to the bench and her head coach is EJECTED (11.2.C, p 58)
 
Aug 25, 2019
369
43
USSSA RULES:

146. The batter leans into or tries to get hit by the pitch and gets hit by the ball.

Ruling - DEAD BALL whenever a pitch touches the batter or the batter's clothing. The batter is awarded a BALL ("only" a ball) unless the pitch is in the strike zone, is prevented from entering the zone by the batter, or the batter swings or offers at the pitch, in which case a strike is called. If the awarded ball happens to be ball four, then (and only then) is the batter awarded first base (8.4.D EXCEPTIONS 1 & 2, p 43)

Mechanic on "Ball Four" award when a batter leans into a pitch: after signaling "Dead Ball", the umpire should remove his/her mask, raise the right arm with four fingers extended above the eyes and verbalize "that's ball four" to sell the fact that the batter is being awarded first base because of the count advancing to four balls -- NOT because of a hit-by-pitch award

147. R1 is on first base. B2 hits a pitched ball sharply on the ground past F3, who is playing in. The batted ball makes contact with R1 who is off base and advancing towards second base. The umpires judge that F4 a) does, or b) does not have a chance to make a play on the ball.

Ruling - in a), DEAD BALL and INTERFERENCE is ruled; R1 is declared OUT, and B2 is awarded first base. A runner is out when she is contacted by fair batted ball before it touches or passes an infielder, or after it passes any infielder (except the pitcher) AND the umpire judges ANOTHER INFIELDER has a play. In b), LIVE BALL and NO VIOLATION unless the runner intentionally contacts the ball. When a runner is hit by a fair batted ball after it is touched or has passed an infielder (except the pitcher) AND the umpire judges that no other infielder has an opportunity to make a play, the runner is not out and the ball remains live (8.18.N, p 51; 8.18.N NOTE 2, p 52)

148. The bases are loaded with no outs. All runners leave their respective bases when the pitch is released. B4 hits a ball deep above the outfield. F9 makes a spectacular catch for out number one. The ball is relayed to second base and then on to first base to play on the runners who failed to tag for outs number two and three. R1 scores before the third out at first base.

Ruling - this is a TIME PLAY since the third out is not a force out; therefore, R1's RUN COUNTS. However; R1 is LIABLE FOR A FOURTH OUT APPEAL TO NULLIFY THE RUN. The appeal must be made before all infielders have left fair territory and the catcher vacates her normal fielding position, or, on the last play of the game, before the umpires leave the field of play (9.4.B & C, p 54; 9.9, p 55)

149. There are two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning and the score is tied. The home team is batting eleven batters. B8 is due up, but B11 bats instead and flies out to F8 for the third out. The visitors appeal the batting out of order a) immediately after the out, or b) in the bottom of the eighth inning, when B1 steps into the batter's box to lead off the inning with B11 on second base.

Ruling - in a), VALID FOURTH OUT APPEAL and B8 is declared OUT; the next batter is the player who follows in the batting order the player who is declared out for not batting in proper order (in this case, B9, who follows B8, will lead off the next inning and B8 will be the tiebreaker runner). In b), INVALID APPEAL; the improper at bat of B11 was legalized at the end of the seventh inning when the infielders left fair territory and the catcher vacated her normal batting position. B1 is the proper batter because her name follows that of the legalized improper batter, B11, and B11 should be the tiebreaker runner (9.4.B, p 54; 9.9, p 55; 9.10.A & D, p 55-56)

150. B1 hits a pitched ball on the ground toward F3, who is playing slightly behind the base line. The batted ball hits first base and then rebounds toward home plate and makes contact with B1 in fair or foul territory.

Ruling - FAIR BALL, DEAD BALL and INTERFERENCE is ruled if a fielder has an opportunity to make a play or the batter-runner intentionally interferes. Deflection off the base is unusual but offers the runner no special protection (8.18.N, p 51)
 
Aug 25, 2019
369
43
USSSA RULES:

The defense is allowed to make a fourth-out appeal in certain circumstances.

What are the two reasons the defense would make a fourth-out appeal?

When must they make it?

The reasons for making a fourth-out appeal are:

i) to nullify a run, or
ii) after a batting out of order, to properly reset the batting order

Fourth-out appeals must be made:

i) at the end of an inning, before all infielders have left fair territory and the catcher has vacated her normal fielding position

ii) at the end of the game, before the umpires have left the field of play
 
Aug 25, 2019
369
43
USSSA RULES:

151. R1 is trying to reach home plate after properly tagging up at third base. The third base coach is hit in the back by the outfielder's thrown ball. The coach is out of the coach's box.

Ruling - if this is a "normal" play (i.e., the throw is from fair territory and is wild), then NO VIOLATION and the ball is LIVE, provided the coach does not intentionally interfere

However, IF

i) the catch is made (presumably by F7) in foul territory, and

ii) the coach is positioned directly between the thrower and the plate area, and

iii) in the umpire's judgment, the coach interferes with the throw

THEN, DEAD BALL and the runner is OUT for INTERFERENCE, and any other runners must return to the last base touched at the time of the interference

In judging this, the umpire must ask him/her self "does the defense have an opportunity to get an out?"

Two rules govern this:

A runner is out when she is prevented from being put out by an illegal act by anyone connected with the team. The runner closest to home is out when a coach intentionally interferes with a live batted ball or thrown ball (8.18.H, p 50; 8.18.Z, p 53)

152. There is one out. R1 on first base is running with the release of the pitch. B3 strikes out on the pitch and F2 drops the third strike. The batter runs to first base and F2 throws the ball into right field while attempting to play on B3.

Ruling - LIVE BALL and NO VIOLATION; the batter is OUT on the strike out. The batter is out even if the a third strike is uncaught, provided there are less than two outs and a runner occupies first base at the time of the pitch (8.14.D, p 40)

153. The plate umpire judges the batter to have swung at a pitched ball. The batter requests that the plate umpire check with the base umpire.

Ruling - IMPROPER PROCEDURE. The umpire should only request help on a check swing if he or she calls a BALL. Mechanically, an umpire should never "guess" that a batter swung at a pitch; if there is doubt, it should be ruled a ball. A swinging strike should only be called if the umpire clearly saw the swing, so there is no basis for going for help when he or she has ruled that the batter swung (14.8 NOTE, p 62)

154. A few starting players are wearing plastic hair clips in their hair.

Ruling - LEGAL, provided they are flat, unadorned and no longer than 2 inches (2.5, p 10)

155. The starting pitcher bats in the top of the first inning and hits a double. Substitute S1 courtesy runs for her. Between innings, the pitcher is injured and unable to face the first batter in the bottom of the inning.

Ruling - LEGAL; S1 is now retroactively the pitcher's substitute, no longer a courtesy runner. The pitcher has left the game but she may re-enter; however, she may not return to the pitching position.

When an injury or disqualification occurs in the top of the first inning to the pitcher/catcher identified on the lineup card and she is unable to face the first batter in the bottom of the first inning (at least one pitch), the player who ran for her is retroactively her substitute (unless the courtesy runner was an LCAB CR) (8.3.G, p 42-43)
 
Aug 25, 2019
369
43
USSSA RULES:

What are the four issues that factor into the umpire's judgment as to whether or not a batter checked her swing?

i) rolling the wrist
ii) swinging through the ball and bringing or drawing the bat back, unless drawing it back occurs before the pitch gets to the bat
iii) the bat being out in front of the body
iv) the batter makes an attempt to hit the pitch
 
Aug 25, 2019
369
43
USSSA RULES:

156. R1 is on first base when B2 hits a pitched ball fair. The ground ball is booted by an infielder or outfielder and rolls into dead ball territory.

Ruling - DEAD BALL and a TWO BASE AWARD; R1 is awarded second and third bases, and B2 is awarded first and second bases. Awards on a batted ball which is deflected off a defensive player into dead ball territory are based on runner position at the time of pitch, NOT at the time the ball becomes dead (8.14.C.1, p 47; 8.15.A.1, p
48)

157. The batter hits a ground ball toward F3 who dives and fields the batted ball with her glove. While still lying on the ground, with the ball in her glove, F3 touches first base with her a) head, or b) bare hand prior to the batter-runner reaching first base.

Ruling - in both a) and b), the batter-runner is OUT and the ball is LIVE. In a force situation, a fielder can legally touch a base for an out with any part of their body while in possession of the ball (3.FORCE PLAY, p 21; 8.18.M, p 51)

158. The batter wishes to move from one batter's box to the other batter's box while the pitcher is taking the signal on the pitcher's plate.

Ruling - the batter must request AND BE GRANTED TIME by the plate umpire before the batter can change to the other batter's box. The ball is DEAD and the batter is OUT if she disconcerts the pitcher by stepping out of the box on one side of home plate to the box on the other side while the pitcher is in position ready to pitch (6.10, p 39)

159. R1 is on second base. The pitcher has the ball in the circle. Without asking for time, the pitcher adjusts her hair control device by placing her glove (which holds the ball) a) between her knees, or b) on the ground. R1 advances to third base.

Ruling - in a), DEAD BALL and R1 is OUT for violation of the LOOK-BACK RULE. The pitcher is considered to be in possession of the ball when it is held between the knees. In b), LIVE BALL and NO VIOLATION; R1's advance is LEGAL. R1 is released from the Look-Back Rule restrictions because the pitcher no longer has possession of the ball (8.2, p 41; 8.18.L, p 51)

160. The coach enters the playing field and removes the pitcher before making the substitution with the plate umpire. The relief pitcher gets two batters out. The coach again enters the playing field to speak with the reliever.

Ruling - the coach's trip to speak with the first pitcher is not a charged conference; a conference is not charged when the pitcher is removed as a pitcher. The visit with the relief pitcher is a charged conference, since no pitching change is made (3.CONFERENCE, CHARGED, p 20; 4.8.C.2, p 29
 
Aug 25, 2019
369
43
USSSA RULES:

161.The corner of first base is clearly outside of the foul line, in foul territory. A batted ball hits the corner of the base or hops over the corner of the base which is in foul territory.

Ruling - DEAD BALL and a FOUL BALL, provided the foul lines ARE DRAWN PROPERLY. Fair territory is that part of the playing field within and including THE FOUL LINES from home plate to the bottom of the playing field fence and perpendicularly upward (3.FAIR TERRITORY, p 21)

Comment: Because the bag is clearly in foul territory, the judgment and subsequent ruling as to whether a ball is fair or foul is based on the position of the properly drawn foul line. Home plate, the foul lines and the foul poles are "fixed points" on the the playing field; bases can (and do) move out of place.

Umpires should visually check the position of first and third bases after every play, hit or turn at bat

162. R1 is on second base. B2 hits a pitched ball that deflects off F1's glove and rolls toward F6, who is a) clearly in the act of fielding the ball, or b) not capable of fielding the ball. R1 collides with F6.

Ruling - in a), DEAD BALL and INTERFERENCE; R1 is declared OUT, and B2 is awarded first base. Because the ball was deflected by THE PITCHER, F6 is still considered to be making an initial play on a batted ball. In b), DELAYED DEAD BALL is signaled and OBSTRUCTION is called; F6 is not entitled to initial play protection when she does NOT HAVE a reasonable chance to gain control of a ground ball that no other fielder (except the pitcher) has touched (3.INITIAL PLAY, p 22; 3.OBSTRUCTION, p 23; 8.18.G, p 50)

163. R1 is on first base. F2 drops a pitched ball which then rolls to B2's feet. Forgetting that R1 is on first base, B2 picks up the ball and hands it to F2. R1 reacts to this by a) stealing second base, or returning to first base.

Ruling - in a) and b), DEAD BALL and NO VIOLATION; R1 returns/remains at first base. This is NOT INTERFERENCE; at the time the batter picked up the ball, the catcher was not making a play. It is also not, obviously, an award for hit by pitch; even though the pitch touched the batter, it is the batter who caused the touching. The result of the pitch (ball or strike) stands (3.INTERFERENCE, p 23; 10.1.A, p 56)

164. The batter hits a fly ball to the outfield. The outfielder touches the ball momentarily and the ball bounces against her body, where she eventually grabs it in her hand or glove before it hits the ground.

Ruling - LIVE BALL and the batter-runner is OUT; there are two components of this play to be considered:

i) the LEGAL CATCH is completed when the fielder secures possession of the ball in the hand or glove, holds the ball long enough to prove complete control of it, and the release of the ball is voluntary and intentional

ii) although the legal catch occurs later, base runners (if any) ARE RELEASED from their bases (may tag up) when the fielder FIRST TOUCHES the ball

(3.CATCH.A, p 19; 8.7.D, p 45)

165. The batter hits a pitched ball above foul ground near third base. F5 is unable to catch the fly ball because the coach remained in the coach's box and did not move.

Ruling - DEAD BALL and INTERFERENCE is ruled; the batter is declared OUT. The batter is out when any coach or member of the offensive team interferes with a fielder making an initial play on a batted ball (8.17.I, p 50)

Comment: The coach's box is the area to which the base coach is restricted prior to release of the pitch. Once the ball is hit the coach must allow the defensive player a chance to make a play on the batted ball even when it is hit in the area of the coach's box
 
Aug 25, 2019
369
43
USSSA RULES:

166. R1 is on second base and R2 is on first base with no outs. The batter hits a pitched ball above the infield. F6 and F4 both settle under the pop up on the outfield side of the base line. Both fielders misjudge the fly ball, which lands untouched in front of the fielders. The ball bounces up and accidentally makes contact with R1, who is off second base.

Ruling - LIVE BALL and the batter-runner is OUT on the INFIELD FLY RULE, followed by a DEAD BALL and R1 is declared OUT for INTERFERENCE. A runner is out when she is contacted by a fair batted ball before it touches or passes an infielder (excluding the pitcher). All base runners (in this case, R2) must return to the base occupied at the time of the interference (8.17.H, p 49; 8.18.N, p 51)

167. R1 at first base is running as soon as the pitch is released. B2 bunts the ball. F3 fields the batted ball and attempts to tag B2. B2 stops, and then, steps backward to avoid or delay F3's attempted tag as R1 a) has already rounded second base, or b) is approaching second base.

Ruling - in a) and b), DEAD BALL as soon as the batter steps backward; B2 is declared OUT. A batter-runner is out when she MOVES BACKWARD toward home plate TO AVOID OR DELAY BEING TAGGED OUT. The ball is dead and base runner(s) must return to the last base touched at the time of the infraction. R1 is returned to second base in a), and first base in b), respectively (8.17.G, p 49)

168. The umpire notices a) a non-adult catcher is not wearing a chest protector, or b) a non-adult base coach is not wearing a batting helmet.

Ruling - ILLEGAL in a) and b); both situations are a violation of the coach's pregame verification that their players are legally and properly equipped. For a first offense, a TEAM WARNING is issued; if a SUBSEQUENT OFFENSE, the offender is RESTRICTED and the head coach is EJECTED (2.1, p 8; 2.2, p 9; 4.8.D.4

In the Youth program, the catcher must wear:

i) a NOCSAE approved head protector with dual ear flaps,
ii) an approved mask with throat protector,
iii) shin guards, and
iv) a body chest protector

In the Youth program, non-adult base coaches must wear NOCSAE approved batting helmets

(2.1, p 8; 2.2, p 9; 4.8.D.4, p 29; 11.2.C, p 58)

169. The pitcher attempts a quick pitch of the ball, before the batter is ready in her batting position.

Ruling - DEAD BALL and NO PITCH is declared when the pitcher attempts a quick return of the ball before the batter is in position or is off balance as the result of a previous pitch (6.4.C, p 37)

170. The pitcher pitches the ball wildly toward the batter. The batter attempts to duck out of the way and does not swing at the pitched ball. The ball hits part of the bat and part of the batter's thumb on the bat at the same time.

Ruling - DEAD BALL and a HIT BY PITCH should be ruled. The plate umpire should never rule that a ball hit the bat and the hand simultaneously. The hand is positioned on top of the bat (i.e., the ball must "go through" the hand to get to the bat -- not through the bat to get to the hand). Since the batter did not swing and the pitch was wild, the benefit of doubt belongs to the batter; unless the plate umpire definitively sees that the pitch hit the bat first, he/she should rule that it first contacted the batter by hitting her hand (8.4.D, p 43)

Note: THE BATTER'S HANDS ARE NOT CONSIDERED PART OF THE BAT
 
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