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The Umpire Corner

Foul Ball or Out?

Rule question? Get it answered here.

by buckfor3 » Tue Aug 18, 2015 1:57 pm

No Outs, No One on base. Batter run bunts ball in fair territory in between the two batters boxes right in front of the plate. The BR's first step from the left side of the plate (right handed batter) with right foot lands on top of the ball, while her left foot is still in the batters box (the right foot never reaches the ground due to it being on top of the ball). What is the call? and please give rule to back it up.
The umpire called her out due to the ball being in fair territory, I agued that she was still in the batter's box when she touched the ball and therefore should be a foul ball. I also stated that the rule states that she is not out of the batters box until she has established her foot on the ground out of the box. The umpire maintained his position and called her out.
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by B34R DOWN » Tue Aug 18, 2015 2:35 pm

I would think if the ball is in fair territory it could be an out due to inference with the batted ball... dead ball the second she touches it maybe?
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by UmpSteve » Tue Aug 18, 2015 9:45 pm

Common mistake of mixing two similar but different rules.

1) It is a foul ball if the batter is hit by the ball while standing in the batter's box.

2) The batter-runner is out when she makes contact with a fair batted ball.

In the first case, the rule protects a batter that is (still) standing in the batter's box if the batted ball hits her, because a) that's where she's supposed to be to hit the ball, and b) she cannot get out of the way of the ball she hit into herself. KEY TO REMEMBER, this applies when the ball hits the batter.

In the second case, that rule says once she starts to run, she is responsible to avoid the ball; if a fair ball, her contact is interference, an immediate dead ball, and she is out. She is no longer a batter, so the first rule doesn't apply. Any ball in front of the lines extended from the back point of the plate, even if still in the batter's box, is a fair ball she must avoid when running. Key to your play, and in your own words, the batter-runner contacted the ball, not that the batted ball hit her.

Same ruling in all rules of softball, ASA, NFHS (PGF), NCAA. The umpire ruled correctly, and was right to hold his position against your argument.
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by Spazsdad » Tue Aug 18, 2015 9:50 pm

Drops the mic :ugeek:
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by Hurricane » Tue Aug 18, 2015 11:34 pm

:lol:

dammit, Spaz...I just spit wine on my keyboard!

:lol:

thanks, UmpSteve

I appreciate all of your analysis on the formum.
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by buckfor3 » Wed Aug 19, 2015 11:06 am

Thank you for the clarification. One more question regarding these types of situations.

Lefty Slapper starts to run towards the pitcher in the box, one foot in the air, but out of the box, ball makes contact with bat then ball hits the foot that is in the air but out of box, in fair territory. What is the ruling?
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by UmpSteve » Wed Aug 19, 2015 9:11 pm

buckfor3 wrote:Thank you for the clarification. One more question regarding these types of situations.

Lefty Slapper starts to run towards the pitcher in the box, one foot in the air, but out of the box, ball makes contact with bat then ball hits the foot that is in the air but out of box, in fair territory. What is the ruling?


Ball hit batter (not the reverse) and batter "not out of the box" until a foot touches the ground completely out of the box. This should be ruled a foul ball.

Slappers aren't/shouldn't be granted special dispensation from rule compliance based on their choice of hitting style (moving forward rather than standing still). At the same time, and for the same reason, the rules shouldn't be interpreted differently based on that choice.

For the record (as to Spazsdad's post), I wasn't putting you or anyone else down. I simply wanted to provide the most definitive answer possible.
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by buckfor3 » Thu Aug 20, 2015 10:09 am

I understand the idea of slappers not being treated differently, however in some instances they might be. For instance in the example previous given, the slapper running towards the pitcher could be interpreted that the due to the fact that she is already running is the cause of the touching of the ball (in other words if not a slapper that ball would not have been touched, therefore her running is the cause of the ball being touched). The only thing different between the OP and this situation is that there is a definite determination between the swinging and running vs a slapper that is swinging and running at the same time.
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