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You Make the Call …
By Little League Operations Department

1. Situation – With a runner on third, the pitcher starts his/her wind-up. Midway through his/her delivery…the batter steps out of the batter’s box. The surprised hurler freezes in mid-stride and holds onto the ball. IS THIS A BALK/ILLEGAL PITCH?

Answers 6.02(b) - The ball is dead and no balk/illegal pitch shall be called. The batter may not step out after the pitcher starts his/her motion. Start over from “scratch.”


2. Jr./Sr./Big League Baseball/Softball,
Situation – Runner on first base, one out. Two strikes on the batter. The batter swings and misses…the catcher cannot hold onto the ball. The batter takes off for first as the runner from first takes off for second. The catcher throws to the second baseman who tags the runner. The batter-runner ends up on first. HOW MANY OUTS?

Answers 6.05(b)/7.08(c) - There are three outs. The batter was out automatically because first base was occupied with less than two outs. The runner from first was out when tagged for the third out.

APPEAL SITUATION

Judgment calls can be appealed
if the manager feels that the
umpire missed the call.

Reality: The word "appeal" is frequently misused. Judgment calls by umpires are not subject to question or objection by a manager or coach.

9.02(a) Any umpire's decision which involves judgment, such as, but not limited to, whether a batted ball is fair or foul, whether a pitch is a strike or a ball, or whether a runner is safe or out, is final. No player, manager, coach or substitute shall object to any such judgment decisions.

The only "appeal" of this nature that a manager may make under the rules is if the manager feels that the umpire has misapplied a playing rule.

In this case, rules 9.02(b)and 9.02(c) apply:
9.02(b) If there is reasonable doubt that any umpire's decision may be in conflict with the rules, the manager may appeal the decision and ask that a correct ruling be made. Such appeal shall be made only to the umpire who made the protested decision.
9.02(c) If a decision is appealed, the umpire making the decision may ask another umpire for information before making a final decision. No umpire shall criticize, seek to reverse or interfere with another umpire's decision unless asked to do so by the umpire making it.

Thus, for example, when a manager thinks the base umpire "blew" a safe/out call at first base and goes to the plate umpire saying, "Can I appeal that?" he has no basis under the rules for the request. The safe/out call is a judgment call, and thus not questionable. Even supposing it were, the question should have been directed to the base umpire, not the plate umpire. The plate umpire should, therefore, simply answer "No" to this question.

That being said, if the manager approaches the base umpire and requests that he ask his partner to see if he had a better angle, this is not an "appeal," simply a request. The base umpire is under no obligation to go to his partner, but may do so if he feels that his partner may have information that bears on the call.

RULE CHANGES

Babe Ruth Baseball

The Bat (13-15 Division)

The Babe Ruth Baseball 13-15 Division has adopted standards for metal bats that limit the diameter of a bat to 2-5/8”. Wood bats conforming to the dimensions described in

Official Baseball Rule 1.10 are approved for use in Babe Ruth League.

 

TO: League Presidents and District, State & Regional Commissioners
FROM: Steven M. Tellefsen, President/CEO

DATE: October 26, 2010

RE: Composite Bats
The International Board of Directors of Babe Ruth League, Inc. has approved a moratorium on the use of composite bats in the Babe Ruth Baseball 13-15 and 16-18 Divisions, effective immediately. The moratorium shall be in effect until further notice by Babe Ruth Headquarters. The moratorium will follow the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), based on a recommendation from its Baseball Rules Committee. The NFHS Board enacted a rule to prohibit the use of composite bats until they can produce compliance with the standards through the life of the bat. If a composite bat is legal/approved under the NHFS rule for the 2011 season, it is legal for use in the Babe Ruth Baseball 13-15 and 16-18 Divisions for local league play and tournament competition. Composite bats that are certified by an approved independent testing laboratory as meeting the current Ball Exit Speed Ration (BESR) and the Accelerated Break-In (ABI) procedure will be eligible. For a list of composite bats approved for the 2011 Babe Ruth Baseball 13-15 and 16-18 Divisions, please visit At present, the moratorium on composite bats does not apply to the Cal Ripken Major, Minor, Rookie and T-Ball Divisions, nor does it apply to any division of Softball. Our goal is to provide our local leagues clear direction regarding the 2¼” barrel composite bats, and which ones meet the standards for the Cal Ripken Divisions, if any, as soon as possible. We hope to have information in the very near future. SMT/tc cc: Board of Directors


LINK TO APPROVED BATS

2012 Little League Approved Bats Link

2012 ASA Approved Bats Link

Babe Ruth Cal Ripken Bat Link

NFHS Bat Rule Link

Click on Links to Rule Changes of Current Year

2009 LITTLE LEAGUE REGULAR SEASON CHANGES

2009 NFHS BASEBALL

2009 NFHS SOFTBALL

 

SOFTBALL PLAYING RULES

 

The Game


A. Time
In case of inclement weather, four innings or 40 minutes will constitute a complete game.

B. Extra Inning Procedures
Regular season games that are tied after the time limit has expired will end in a tie, but if there is still time remaining, extra innings will be played. If a tournament game is tied at the end of the time limit, extra innings will be played until a winner is determined. No time limit will be in effect for championship games.
C. Equipment
Balls, bats, and catcher's mask (recommended for the catcher) will be provided, but players are encouraged to bring their own equipment. Only slow pitch softball bats may be used. No Mikens. Metal cleats are illegal and any player caught wearing them will be disqualified from the game. No jewelry may be worn, and after warning players will be disqualified.
D. Substitutes
Extra players may be substituted into the line-up one time in any spot in the lineup. A team will receive an out in the lineup in the case that a player leaves that spot for any reason, and there is no substitute available. In a case that less than 8 players are in a lineup, an out will be recorded for the missing player(s).


I. Definitions
Base on Balls
A base on balls allows a batter to gain first base without liability to be put out. An intentional walk may be granted by having the pitcher notify the home umpire.

Base Path
The imaginary 3' on either side of the runner's line between the bases.

Batted Ball
Any ball that hits the bat or is hit by the bat. No intent to hit the ball is necessary.
Bunt/Chopped Ball
A ball that is batted down slowly and/or deliberately. A batter that is considered to have done this is out.
Catch
The catch is not legal until the ball is in the grasp of the fielder's hand or glove and complete control is demonstrated. The release of the ball must be voluntary and intentional. A catch may not be made with anything other than the hand or glove. It may be released for the transfer to the throwing hand.
Catch and Carry
A catch that is made in fair territory and then carried into dead ball territory by a fielder.
Dead Ball Area
Area marked parallel to both foul lines, any area beyond the fence, and the area between the fence entering the dugouts.
Fair Ball
A batted ball that:
a) Settles in fair territory or on home plate,
b) Is on or over fair territory when bounding toward the outfield, passing first or third base
c) Touches an umpire or fielder in fair territory,
d) Goes over the fence in fair territory,
e) Hits the foul pole or the foul line
Foul Ball
A batted ball that:
a) settles on foul territory between home plate and first or third base
b) touches the batter while in the batter's box,
c) is on or over foul territory when bounding toward the outfield,
d) touches an umpire, object, or player in foul territory before reaching first or third base while in flight
The offensive team is responsible for retrieving all foul balls and home runs
Home Plate
The black part of the plate is not considered part of home plate.

On Deck batter
The batter who is up after the current batter. This batter must stand inside the designated area to take warm-up swings.


II. Rules and Penalties
A. Obstruction
Obstruction is an act by a catcher that hinders or prevents the batter from hitting a pitch or an act by a fielder that impedes the progress of a base runner. The fielder may be in the act of fielding the ball, about to throw the ball, or not in possession of the ball. When obstruction occurs, the umpire will give the delayed dead ball signal.
1. If a play is being made on an obstructed runner, or if the batter is obstructed before he reaches first base, the ball is dead and all runners advance to the bases they would have reached, in the umpire's judgment, had there been no obstruction.
2. If no play is being made on an obstructed runner, play continues.
3. If, in the umpire's judgment, the obstructed runner would not have reached the next base, regardless of the obstruction, and he/she is put out prior to reaching the next base, he shall be returned to the last base touched at the time of the obstruction.
4. A base runner obstructed in a rundown will be awarded the base to which he/she would have achieved at the time of the obstruction.
B. Interference
Interference is any act by the offensive player that impedes or confuses a defensive player while attempting to execute a play. When interference is called, the ball is dead and all other runners must return to the last base legally touched.
1. If a runner, in the umpire's judgment, obviously attempts to prevent a double play, that runner and the immediate succeeding runner are both called out.
2. When a base runner is struck with a fair batted ball while off the base and in fair territory, and before the ball passes an infielder, excluding the pitcher, and no other infielder is in position to catch the ball, that runner is called out.
3. When a runner intentionally kicks a ball that an infielder has missed, that runner is called out.
4. When anyone, other than another base runner, physically assists a base runner, that runner is called out.
5. When a batter hinders a catcher from fielding the ball, the batter is out.
6. When a defensive player has the ball and is waiting for the runner, if the runner remains on his/her feet and deliberately crashes into the defensive player, the runner is out. (The runner must either slide or give himself/herself up to the tag.)
C. Infield Fly
Infield fly occurs on a fair fly ball that can be caught by an infielder with ordinary effort. Runners must occupy first and second, or first, second, and third base with zero or one out. The batter is out, the ball is alive, runners advance at their own risk.
D. Appeal
There are two types of appeal plays:
1. Live ball appeal play
a. The umpire must make an immediate decision.
b. The ball remains in play.
c. Runners may advance at their own risk.
2. Dead ball appeal play
a. The umpire's decision is rendered upon request.
b. The ball must be returned to the infield.
c. Any defensive player may make the request.
d. A "play" does not have to be made.
e. The ball remains dead.
f. Runners may not advance.
There are two types of appeal plays:
1. Batting out of order.
2. Missing a base.
Any additional appeal may be made for batting-out-of-order:
1. If discovered before turn is completed, proper batter resumes count.
2. If discovered after the turn is completed, it must be appealed before the first pitch to the next batter. The batter who should have batted is out. The next batter in order comes to the plate.
E. Overthrow/Dead Ball Area
1. If an overthrow enters dead ball territory, the runners get two bases from where there were at the point of release of the throw.
2. If a fair batted ball enters dead ball territory it is a ground rule double.
3. If a batted ball hits an object that is in dead ball territory (i.e. a tree) and bounds back into play it is not live and cannot be played.
F. Fake Tag
A fake tag made by a fielder without the ball is an unsportsmanlike act that will not be tolerated. The first time in a game that an umpire notices a fake tag, both teams will be warned. The next instance will result in the ejection of the offending player.
G. Illegal Bat
All legal bats must say "Official Softball Bat". If a metal bat is used it must have a metal knob. If a ball is batted with an illegal bat, ball is dead, batter is out.
H. Force Out
Occurs only when a runner loses the right to the base he/she is occupying because the batter becomes a batter-runner.
I. Batter's Box
If the batter's foot is completely out of the box on the ground when the ball ihit, fair or foul, the ball is dead and the batter is out. This would include stepping on the plate, or stepping into fair territory.
J. Illegal Pitch
Any pitch called illegal may be taken for a ball. If the batter swings at an illegal pitch, the ball is live, and the result of the play stands. The following criteria must be met for a pitch to be legal.
1. The peak of its arc must be between 6' and 12'.
2. Before the pitching motion begins, the pitcher must come to a stop with at least one foot on the pitching rubber. The same foot must remain on the rubber until the ball is released.
K. Pitching
Prior to pitching, the pitcher shall come to a full and complete stop with both feet firmly on the ground, and with one or both feet in contact with the pitching rubber. The ball must be held in the pitching hand or both hands in front of the body. This position must be maintained at least one second prior to delivery.
In the act of delivering the ball to the batter, the pivot foot must remain in contact with the pitcher's rubber until the ball leaves the hand. The pitcher's shoulders must be in line with first and third base. NOTE: A dead ball should be called, an illegal pitch ruled, a warning issued, and repeated action would result in a pitcher being ruled illegal and removed from that position for the game.
A maximum of 5 warm up pitches will be given prior to the first inning. A maximum of 3 will be given in between innings. New pitchers will be given 3 pitches. NO INFIELD PRACTICE MAY BE TAKEN AFTER THE FIRST INNING.

Legal Delivery Consists of:
1. The delivery must be a continuous motion
2. The pitcher must deliver the ball towards home plate and in an underhand motion
3. The pitcher must not deliver the ball behind the back or between the legs.
Quick Pitches are not allowed. A quick pitch is one where a pitcher attempts to deliver a ball when the batter is not yet in the batters box, or still off balance from a previous swing attempt. An illegal pitch will be called on an attempted quick pitch.
"No Pitch" will be called when a ball slips out of a pitchers hand on a delivery, when a runner is called out for leaving the base early, or a pitcher pitches a ball before the signal to play is given.
L. Running
No stealing is allowed. Runners may leave the base when a pitch is hit. If the runner is off the base before the pitch reaches the plate, the runner is out and the umpire declares no pitch. Players may over run first base. If an attempt to advance to second base is made, the runner puts himself or herself in jeopardy to be put out.
M. Policies/Guidelines
1. I.D. cards may be required of all players at the start of each game.
2. Players may only participate for ONE TEAM. If a person participates on more than one team he/she places their teams eligibility in question for the regular season and playoffs.
3. No Miken bats!!!
N. Rules Of Conduct
1. Players will refrain from the use of profanity.
2. Consumption of tobacco products & alcoholic beverages will NOT be permitted at or near the softball fields.
3. Any disruptive behavior by a team or its fans will permit the umpire to forfeit the game. IM Officials have full authority in all aspects of the game. NO PROTESTS OF ANY KIND WILL BE ALLOWED!
4. Fighting will not be tolerated and may result in suspension from the intramural program.

CAN A PITCHER WEAR SUNGLASSES

There is no mention of sunglasses in the rulebook.

The accepted ruling is that a pitcher is allowed to wear them if they are not reflective or distracting in any other way.

Umpires are taught to be very careful about the pitcher conforming to the rules and regulations regarding uniforms and equipment.

A pitcher cannot have any unessential and distracting thing on his body such as jewelry, adhesive tape, or a batting glove. So, if a team complained about a pair of sunglasses I would think the umpire would be compelled to ask the pitcher to remove them.

 

THE UMPIRES ONLY RESPONSE
FOR THI
S SITUATION IS:

9.01 (c) Each umpire has authority to rule on any point not specifically covered in these rules.

 

 

LITTLE LEAGUE SOFTBALL
PITCHER RULE

  1. Pitching The pitcher shall take a position with her pivot foot in contact with the pitcher's plate. The non-pivot foot must be on or behind the pitcher's plate (8.01(d))

  2. A backward step may be taken before or simultaneous with the hands being brought together. The pivot foot must remain in contact with the pitching plate at all times prior to the forward step (8.01(g)).

  3. Raising the pivot foot off the pitching plate and returning it to the plate creates a rocking motion and is an illegal act (8.01(h))

  4. Pushing off with the pivot foot from a place other then the pitcher's plate is illegal (8.01(r))

  5. The pivot foot must remain in contact with or push off and drag away from the pitching plate prior to the front foot touching the ground. (8.01(s)).

  6. A manager or coach can make two visits to the mound during one inning or a total of three in the course of game. If a manager makes a third visit during an inning or a fourth during a game, the pitcher must be removed from the game. Any time out called to talk to a defensive player will be charged as a visit to the pitcher. Any visit due to injury will not count as a visit to the pitcher. (8.06)

  7. If a ball slips from the pitcher's hand before, during or up to the delivery of a pitch, the umpire shall call a ball on the batter. The ball remains in play and runners may advance at their own risk (8.07)

7.00 RUNNER RULE

7.10
Any runner shall be called out, on appeal, when_ (a) After a fly ball is caught, he fails to retouch his original base before he or his original base is tagged; "Retouch," in this rule, means to tag up and start from a contact with the base after the ball is caught. A runner is not permitted to take a flying start from a position in back of his base. (b) With the ball in play, while advancing or returning to a base, he fails to touch each base in order before he, or a missed base, is tagged. APPROVED RULING: (1) No runner may return to touch a missed base after a following runner has scored. (2) When the ball is dead, no runner may return to touch a missed base or one he has left after he has advanced to and touched a base beyond the missed base. PLAY. (a) Batter hits ball out of park or ground rule double and misses first base (ball is dead)_he may return to first base to correct his mistake before he touches second but if he touches second he may not return to first and if defensive team appeals he is declared out at first. PLAY. (b) Batter hits ball to shortstop who throws wild into stand (ball is dead)_batter runner misses first base but is awarded second base on the overthrow. Even though the umpire has awarded the runner second base on the overthrow, the runner must touch first base before he proceeds to second base. These are appeal plays. (c) He overruns or overslides first base and fails to return to the base immediately, and he or the base is tagged; (d) He fails to touch home base and makes no attempt to return to that base, and home base is tagged. Any appeal under this rule must be made before the next pitch, or any play or attempted play. If the violation occurs during a play which ends a half inning, the appeal must be made before the defensive team leaves the field. An appeal is not to be interpreted as a play or an attempted play. Successive appeals may not be made on a runner at the same base. If the defensive team on its first appeal errs, a request for a second appeal on the same runner at the same base shall not be allowed by the umpire. (Intended meaning of the word "err" is that the defensive team in making an appeal threw the ball out of play. For example, if the pitcher threw to first base to appeal and threw the ball into the stands, no second appeal would be allowed.) Appeal plays may require an umpire to recognize an apparent "fourth out." If the third out is made during a play in which an appeal play is sustained on another runner, the appeal play decision takes precedence in determining the out. If there is more than one appeal during a play that ends a half inning, the defense may elect to take the out that gives it the advantage. For the purpose of this rule, the defensive team has "left the field" when the pitcher and all infielders have left fair territory on their way to the bench or clubhouse. If two runners arrive at home base about the same time and the first runner misses home plate but a second runner legally touches the plate, the runner is tagged out on his attempt to come back and touch the base or is called out, on appeal, then he shall be considered as having been put out before the second runner scored and being the third out. Second runner's run shall not count, as provided in Rule 7.12. If a pitcher balks when making an appeal, such act shall be a play. An appeal should be clearly intended as an appeal, either by a verbal request by the player or an act that unmistakably indicates an appeal to the umpire. A player, inadvertently stepping on the base with a ball in his hand, would not constitute an appeal. Time is not out when an appeal is being made


7.12
Unless two are out, the status of a following runner is not affected by a preceding runner's failure to touch or retouch a base. If, upon appeal, the preceding runner is the third out, no runners following him shall score. If such third out is the result of a force play, neither preceding nor following runners shall score.

SLIDING RULE
THERE IS NO "MUST SLIDE" RULE!!!

Rule 7.08 - Any runner is out when -

(a) (3) the runner does not slide OR attempt to get around a fielder who HAS THE BALL and is waiting to make the tag.

The key phrases here are: "or attempt to get around" and "has the ball waiting to make the tag."

The runner may slide or attempt to get around the fielder. He does not have to slide. Plus, unless the fielder has the ball, the runner doesn't have to do either.

The purpose of the rule is to prohibit the runner from deliberately crashing into a defender who has the ball, for the sole purpose of knocking the ball loose, because the runner knows he is going to be out otherwise.

The fielder should not be in the base path without possession of the ball. If he is it is obstruction. Anytime a runner deliberately and maliciously crashes into a fielder he should be ejected for unsportsmanlike conduct. However, if a close play occurs and the runner does not slide and makes incidental contact with the defender before he has the ball, no call should be made. If the defender has the ball, the umpire should judge as to whether the runner made an attempt to get around the fielder. If he did, he should not be called out simply because he did not slide or made contact.

In attempting to get around a fielder who has the ball waiting to make the tag, the runner must not run more than 3 feet to either side of a line that goes between him and the base he is advancing to. If he does, he is out for violation of rule 7.08 (a) (1)

If the defender does not have possession of the ball, and a collision occurs as he steps into the path of the runner as he attempts to catch a thrown ball, there is no penalty, unless the umpire judges the collision to be deliberate and malicious