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Discussion: What is the correct call?

Posted Discussion
April 30, 2007
audieh
Men's 60
242 posts
What is the correct call?
We were playing in a tournament this wekend with no outs and a runner on first. The batter, a lefty, hits a bullet about 2' inside the baseline and hits the leg of the runner who is holding on first. The ball careens into our second basemans mitt after hitting the ground. The batter walks over to his dugout. We tag both second and first.

We feel like the runner is safe and the hitter is out. Both managers agree, all the players agree, but wait........ the umpire behind the plate calls, "dead ball, runner at first advances to second, batter takes first base, no outs".

Honestly, I'm catching and do not know the rule but since the runner made no attempt to move out of the way and let the ball hit him then someone should be out! Not so says the ump. Since i'm catching we get into a converation and I query, "if that is true, than for now on I will let balls hit me while on base to divert the ball from the fileder, who in this case would have fielded the ball. He says, "not a problem you just can not intentionally be hit by the ball".

My, question for some of you more experienced or trained umpires. Was this the correect call?
April 30, 2007
Freddie
Men's 55
108 posts
I'm no umpire, but as I understand the rule: the ball becomes dead, the runner that gets hit is out, & the batter is awarded 1st base.
April 30, 2007
Larry S
37 posts
look at ASA official rules in 2007 book page 154, rule 44 A. The ball remains live, or becomes immediately dead, depending on the closest defensive player. When the closest defensive player is in front of the base that the runner is in contact with, the ball remains live. However, when the closest defensive player is behind the base, the ball is dead. Should the ball be ruled dead and the batter awarded a base hit, only runners forced to advance because the batter was placed on first base shall advance one base.
April 30, 2007
THECAT
59 posts
Only as you descibed. Double play, tagging second then first. Runner in contact with bag is hit, ball is alive and so is the runner and batter. Only becomes dead when runner not in contact with bag in fair territory is hit by a batted ball. Dead ball, runner out and batter awarded first. If first basemen is in front of runner and bag and had a chance to field it and runner is hit off the bag in fair terirory its still alive as long as in the umpires judgement another fielder didn't also have a chance to field it.
Hope it helps in the future.
April 30, 2007
cpope
Men's 60
160 posts
Audie, we had the same thing this weekend, runner on the bag at first get hits by the ball, ball rolls toward 2b, Umpire called, "ball dead, runner advanced and batter is safe on first" I think that was the right call even when it went against us. Main thing was that the runner was still on the base when hit by the ball.
April 30, 2007
Fred Scerra
Men's 80
542 posts
Rule 13.1.C SSUSA Rule book 2006.

Batter becomes batter/runner even though it strikes another player.

C.1 If the runner is hit with a fair batted ball while touching a base, he is not out.
April 30, 2007
audieh
Men's 60
242 posts
Charlie, seems you had the exact same play. Here is a little more though. Fielder was behind base runner, not in front. Ump says ball was dead when it hit the runner still attached to first. However, we fielded the ball and threw to both second and first before hitter reached first as he just walked off due to the discussion. I felt the runner on first would be safe but the hitter would be in play. Why is hitting a runner on first any different than hitting the bag? Is it not in play when it hits the bag? No big deal though. Just thought i would ask some opinions.

It became a mute point in the next inning as we got pounded!
April 30, 2007
RonD22
Men's 50
26 posts
The correct call was as it was called. Florida Half Century plays under ISA rules. Page 44 of the ISA rule book under rule 7 section 1 G. When an untouched batted ball strikes the person while in fair territory and in contact with a base. The ball is dead and the batter-runner is awarded first base. All other runners move up one base, only if forced. The play was called correctly by the umpires on the field. Now if the umpire feels the runner intentionally caused the ball to hit him than he may rule interference. But that would be his judgement.

Ron D
leesburg,Fla
April 30, 2007
chollis
79 posts
Fred,
Does that rule book say if it is a dead ball or live ball?

It seems to me that it would not be a dead ball as the player was on the base when he was hit. ie as part of the field. Therefore, the force at second would be the first out and the throw back to first, which the hitter never touched, would be the second out.

I just don't see why it would be called a dead ball if the runner is hit while in contact with the bag.
c
May 1, 2007
Fred Scerra
Men's 80
542 posts
I didn't see anything on that in the SSUSA rule book.
May 1, 2007
Nancy Allen
Men's 55
612 posts
The umpire made the correct call from the scenario that you gave. Assuming the fielders are playing behind the bag (there is an exception if they are not, but this almost never happens in adult softball), if a runner is hit with the batted ball (and the part of their body hit is not in foul territory), the correct call is automatically "dead ball". Then the next call depends on where the runner is. If the runner is in contact with the bag, they are safe. If they are off the bag, they are out. I had to have a long talk with one of our young umpires after a similar situation. We were playing our friends the Blue Chips, and their batter hit the runner a couple of feet off of first. The umpire did nothing at all. The ball bounced off of the runner to our shortstop, and I am yelling, "Don't throw the ball; it is dead". He throws is to first and hits the downed runner again. The umpire wanted to know what he should have done, and I told him to always get the "dead ball" call out, then decide what that status of the hit player is (safe or out), and then put the batter on first unless it is the third out. He caused that player to get hit the second time because he did not get the call out.
May 1, 2007
jim16
Men's 65
173 posts
I like this one because everybody's right and everybody's wrong. This situation is handled differently in different rule books. USSSA and ASA have been at odds on this one for years. To get the call right you have to be clear what rule book you are using. They dont all agree.
May 1, 2007
RonD22
Men's 50
26 posts
Jim16
U are absolutely correct. Different organizations treat it differently. I was at that tournament, not doing that game, But Fla half century uses ISA rules. And as I said it is covered in their rule book. Good point u make
Ron D
Leesburg,Fla
May 1, 2007
stick8
1299 posts
audieh,
As both a player and umpire if this was under ISA rules the ump made the correct call. Dead ball, batter awarded first and the runner at first advances one base.
May 3, 2007
arizonaken
Men's 65
22 posts
ASA Rule
Page 107
Rule 8 sec E , 6
E. When a fair batted ball strikes the person, attached equipment, or clothing of
an umpire or a runner.
6. Touches a runner in contact with a base:
EFFECT: The runner is not out. The ball is live or dead depending on the
position of the fielder closest to the base.
In slow pitch the defensive player is usually behind the base. Therefore the ball is dead, the batter is awarded 1s base and runners that are forced to advance will be awarded one base.
May 3, 2007
Freddie
Men's 55
108 posts
Could someone from SSWC clarify this rule.
page 78, 13.1, C-1: If the runner is hit with a fair batted ball while touching a base, he is not out. So what happens to the play, is the ball live or is it a dead ball?
May 4, 2007
Nancy Allen
Men's 55
612 posts
Freddie, I think what they should have done is put the last part of 2 (runner out) into 3 so that 3 would read, "The batter-runner is entitled to first base without liability to be put out." This is a dead ball situation in my mind although I am surprised not to see the dead ball reference or the exception on fielders playing up. I will mention it to the office, and they can change or add clarification if it seems appropriate to them. Thanks.
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