Softball Weekly 'Blast' for Sept. 22


HIT BY PITCH ON SWING – If the batter swings and misses and is hit by the pitch it is a dead ball strike and if it is the third strike the batter is out, regardless of where the ball hits the batter.

BASE RUNNER INTERFERENCE – While a runner is never required to slide, if a runner causes illegal contact or illegally alters the action of a fielder while making a play the runner shall be called out, and if the action was deemed an intentional act to prevent a double play, the batter runner may also be called out.

BENCH AND FIELD CONDUCT: Rule 3-6-6: “Only the batter, …, on deck batter, coaches in coach’s box … are permitted to be outside the designated dugout…”  Defensive coaches have been observed standing outside the dugout.  They cannot be outside the dugout. This must be enforced by the umpires.  If the coach fails to comply issue a warning and if they continue restrict them to the dugout.

FOUL BALL – Rule 2-25 lists the definition of a foul ball.  Plate umpires have been observed calling a foul ball before it meets the definition.  A batted ball is not foul just because it is rolling up the baseline in foul territory – it may kick fair before it reaches 1B or 3B.  Umpires need to wait until it is touched or stops rolling in foul territory before calling it a foul ball.

BATS – Bats MUST have either the 2004 ASA Certification Mark or the USA Softball All Games Certification Mark and not be on the non-approved bat list.  If a bat does not have either of these marks it is ILLEGAL.  A bat without either of these marks does not have to be on the non-approved bats list – it is illegal because it does not have either of these certifying marks. 

NFHS Softball Weekly Rule Interpretations

 Situation 1: R1 is on first base and leads off on the pitch. As R1 is returning to 1B, F3 moves toward the base blocking the front edge of the base causing R1 to alter their path while returning to the base. The base coach asks the umpire about F3 obstructing R1 and they inform the coach that there is no need to signal obstruction since R1 obtained the base they would have reached had there not been obstruction.    RULING: Incorrect procedure. Although there may be no award/advancement for this obstructed runner, obstruction must be called (delayed ball signal and verbal of “obstruction”) every time that a defender impedes the progress of a runner without possession of the ball or not making an initial play on a batted ball. Consistency in making this call every time it occurs is critical to enforcement when a

play results in awarding an obstructed runner the base they would have reached had there been no obstruction. If the umpire does not signal obstruction every time it occurs and only signals when the runner is put out and then they award that runner a base, the discussion with the defensive coach becomes much more difficult. This “routine” obstruction signal also does not have to be flashy or verbalized loudly, however it is necessary to signal so all can see and verbalized just loud enough for the runner, F3 and possibly the base coach to hear. (8-4-3b PENALTIES)

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