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Discussion: Is a check-swing or deliberate half-swing legal?

Posted Discussion
Nov. 11, 2019
jgoff5113
Men's 60
47 posts
Is a check-swing or deliberate half-swing legal?
In the World Masters Tourney that just concluded, a batter made a half swing to dink the ball over the pitcher's head and just beyond 2nd base (we were playing just 10 defenders). His half- or check-swing was clearly deliberate, and while I have to admire his skill in being able to check-swing the ball exactly where he wanted it to go, I wonder if what he did is in keeping with the rules of our game. Just to be clear about the "swing" that he took, if it had been baseball (or softball for that matter) and if he had missed the ball, I'm confident that the umpire would have ruled it no swing, because the bat didn't even traverse the entire strike bat, and he certainly didn't break his wrists. Is such a bunt-like swing legal in our game?
Nov. 11, 2019
STL0
Men's 55
212 posts
The only thing in the rule book I could find after a quick look that addresses this in SSUSA is this rule.

7.6 Batter is Out
E. When the batter bunts or chops the ball, or does not take a full swing when
deliberately hitting a pitched ball.

The definition of full swing isn't given but your description by strict interpretation would not be a full swing. I doubt someone would call this an out in a game though.
Nov. 11, 2019
Nancy Allen
Men's 55
1354 posts
I have always admired what we call here a good slap hitter. Very few have that talent. From what was described, that is what you witnessed. If he didn't just square up and bunt, I don't see a problem. A full swing is not described by any association and is not required as long as it is not bunted or chopped at. I do know some defenders get really mad when a batter does it, but it is a skill that works for some. I have heard many say for years that as long as the wrists are turned, it is alright. I would agree with that philosophy.
Nov. 11, 2019
B.J.
853 posts
STLO. You are correct there is no definition for what a full swing is and many times you see batters that hit to the opposite field taking half swings I have never seen an umpire including myself call a batter out for it
Nov. 11, 2019
jgoff5113
Men's 60
47 posts
Thanks everyone for your comments.

STL0: For what it's worth, this batter definitely did "not take a full swing when deliberately hitting a pitched ball".

Nancy (or anyone): Just for my edification, can you describe what "chopping at" a ball looks like?

Based on the wording from the rule book that I quoted back to STL0 above, it sounds like it is in fact against the rules not to take a full swing, but umpires don't enforce this rule. (I mean no disrespect to umpires!)
Nov. 11, 2019
jgoff5113
Men's 60
47 posts
And Nancy: His wrists were not turned.
Nov. 11, 2019
stick8
1876 posts
Jgoff5113, as long as the batter takes a full swing heís fine. A check swing or a bunt is illegal. Itís a dead ball out, even if it goes foul. Your description sounds like a check swing. I have a dead ball out. Runners stay.
That being said there is no rule stipulating how fast a swing must be. As long as itís a full swing itís ok.
Iím reminded of when I was playing 50 major plus. Numerous times we played against the Mavericks, without much success. Their lead off batter, a lefty, used to dink balls just over the infield. We used to get so mad at that!
But he took a full swing. And if you played him in heíd smash it over your head.
Best damn bat control Iíve ever seen, bar none!!
Nov. 11, 2019
Nancy Allen
Men's 55
1354 posts
Jgoff5113, it would be coming down with the bat like an axe from what I have always been taught. It must have happened as a strategy sometime in the past, or there wouldn't be that rule in every association against it. I have never seen a deliberate chop at the ball. I have seen a couple that were close, but they were in response to an inside pitch with two strikes, desperate swings.

Stick8, I would have to see that check swing. There is no requirement stated for a full swing (softball myth). As I said, it happens rarely, but a slap hitter has a talent, and defensive players sometimes gripe, especially in the upper divisions. They are usually very fast, and most of them that I have seen were left handed and hit the left. I appreciate their skill at it. I also have never called anyone out for it. I have only ever had one person bunt in slow pitch. Yes, he was surprised that he was out. He was trying to be funny. ⚾⚾⚾
Nov. 11, 2019
B.J.
853 posts
ok I'm going to stir the pot some more.. I have yet to see a well written rule in any assoc. pertaining to the actual fallacy that a batter has to take a "FULL SWING" ...

we have all seen the batters who take the bat from behind their head/shoulder .. swings at the pitch and "follows thru" with the bat ending up toward his opposite shoulder and releasing the bat with his top hand on the follow thru.. and driving the ball with force ..that is a full swing..

I have also seen the same batter after HR limits have been met reaching out and slapping the ball to the opposite field with the bat crossing over some part of the plate but actually end up pointing to the opposite field is that also a full swing... NO I done think so but in my opinion it's a legal hit and a great hit

the removal of the term full swing which confuses many and an explanation of the batter just having to swing thru the pitch in my opinion would be better
Nov. 11, 2019
Nancy Allen
Men's 55
1354 posts
B.J., I totally agree. It is a myth that there is a rule anywhere that says that a batter has to take a full swing. There are a few others but won't go there in this discussion. There is no need for a rule change because what a batter can't do is clearly stated. It is one of those things that people who don't know rules just believe. It is one of what I call heart rules. We will never change their mind; so we just enforce the rule.
Nov. 11, 2019
stick8
1876 posts
True, there is no rule that states players must take a full swing. The rule is no bunting and does not take a full swing. I can understand that can get real technical and confusing in determining what a full swing and a check swing are. I look at a check swing like a baseball check swing. Going on a limb here I cant believe there is anyone in slow pitch who can hit a ball into the outfield executing a check swing like that. In baseball yes itís very possible.
Nancy I would agree it doesnít happen much. I did call a guy out once for doing that. A righty. The third baseman was playing deep on the edge of the grass. The batter choked up on the bat and did a half swing with no follow thru.
To me a check swing like that is just like a bunt.

Jm $0.02 worth
Nov. 11, 2019
B.J.
853 posts
stick, I think you misunderstood me.. there is such a rule.. I do not like the wording of the rule .. it has no explanation of what is considered to be a FULL SWING..

7.6 ē BATTER IS OUT
E. When the batter bunts or chops the ball, or does not take a full swing when deliberately hitting a pitched ball.
Nov. 11, 2019
STL0
Men's 55
212 posts
Nancy: Rule 7.6 (E) CLEARLY states that the batter must take a full swing (read my first post). Why do you continue to state that the rule does not exist and is a myth? For the record, I did say it would likely not be called and I wouldn't expect it to be called in this situation. I don't admire those types of swings but I do respect it. There's a big difference in my book but either way it doesn't mean that the rule doesn't exist.
Nov. 11, 2019
Nancy Allen
Men's 55
1354 posts
STL0, you're right. I am saying what I am thinking wrong. You can't bunt or chop at the ball.
Nov. 11, 2019
STL0
Men's 55
212 posts
All good Nancy...just didn't understand why you were saying that. Take care.
Nov. 11, 2019
jgoff5113
Men's 60
47 posts
Thank-you all for educating me on this. I suppose it would be unfair to umpires to expect them to enforce a rule that includes in it a term ("full swing") that is undefined.
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