Ask The Ump?

Thavoice

Well-known member
Other than ejections, what (if any) tools does an umpire have when the amount of HBPs absolutely gets out of control.

Recently attended a game where one team hit 12 batters in 6 innings, to include the starter with 7 HBP in 4+ innings. One kid was hit 5 times in the game. This also included at least 4 pitches behind batters.


Just curious....
 

AllSports12

Moderator
Other than ejections, what (if any) tools does an umpire have when the amount of HBPs absolutely gets out of control.

Recently attended a game where one team hit 12 batters in 6 innings, to include the starter with 7 HBP in 4+ innings. One kid was hit 5 times in the game. This also included at least 4 pitches behind batters.


Just curious....
Assuming the pitches aren't intentional (warnings and ejections have happened if that's the case), an umpire can choose to suspend the game based on the safety of the players. At that point the powers-that-be can make the decision of what happens from there.

If the pitches are intentional, and the ejections do not correct the problem, the umpires should suspend the game and (like above) let the powers-that-be decide what happens from there.
 
Question for the umpires... how hard is it to see if a batter is out of the box from behind the plate? I've seen it happen about a dozen times in varsity games this season but it was only called once when it was very obvious... suicide squeeze where the batter bunted the ball with most of his foot on the plate.

About half of the ones I see are on bunts when the batter is on the plate and the other half are against one of our pitchers who is a curve ball specialist who doesn't throw very hard, so opposing batters move up in the box. A few times a tall player with a long stride then is outside the box when he hits the ball.
 

AllSports12

Moderator
Question for the umpires... how hard is it to see if a batter is out of the box from behind the plate? I've seen it happen about a dozen times in varsity games this season but it was only called once when it was very obvious... suicide squeeze where the batter bunted the ball with most of his foot on the plate.

About half of the ones I see are on bunts when the batter is on the plate and the other half are against one of our pitchers who is a curve ball specialist who doesn't throw very hard, so opposing batters move up in the box. A few times a tall player with a long stride then is outside the box when he hits the ball.
In my whole career, I haven't called 5 batters out for violating this rule. The batter is out when he/she contacts the pitched ball with their foot on the ground completely out of the box, or touching home plate when that contact occurs.

Unless it is a turf field with permanent lines, it is very difficult to see the foot on the ground, completely outside the box at contact. What may look like a player out of the box, is actually a player nearly out of the box.

With regards to the plate, the umpire is tracking the ball with his eyes and not focusing on the ground. On a high pitch, it very easy to miss the batter stepping on the plate.
 

CoachHoversten

Well-known member
To add my 2 cents...

1) The key word in AS12's post and rule cite is "COMPLETELY"...many people do not realize this, if even one cleat is still on the outer edge of the chalk line of the box, they are not out of the box at contact

2) Your best bet of an umpire seeing this are on bunts, as you alluded to. The only time it will really be seen on a non-bunt is when it is blatantly obvious

3) Because this is not a rule an umpire can intentionally watch for (would you rather they watch the foot of the batter or track the pitch?), any benefit of the doubt will side on the batter. Simply put, this is a rule the umpire can not be wrong about if they call it (similar to leaving early on a tag and missed a base on a HR...you can not call them out unless you are 100%). If the umpire "thinks" he may have been out, it isn't being called, but a good umpire may make a mental note of the player/# that it was close and be a little more cognizant their next at-bat(s), but again, you can't not track the ball

And I sincerely doubt you have seen a batter out of the box 12 times this season...see #1 above, and also will add, they must make contact to be out , being out of the box by itself is not a violation, nor is swinging and missing while out of the box.

If you truly have seen 12 valid violations of this rule, completely out of box and made contact, then your coaches need to do a better job of coaching their batters, because in hundreds of games umpired in the last 2 seasons (HS, college, and summer tourney ball) I think I have called this once.
 

umpire16

Active member
Like the good coach said, mental notes are a good idea. That is what I do. I also preventative officiate if I see it close and tell the batter "hey #6 your front foot is close to being out of the box on the ground when you make contact - just take care of that for me, ok?" and that works 99.9% of the time. If anything, they know you are now watching them.

One additional thought - in more cases than not lines are not painted so the boxes are what I as umpire say they are if I have to enforce this (i.e foot on the plate, an egregious violation, etc.

While the rules book says in 1-2-2 "All lines on the playing field shall be marked with a material which is not injurious to the eyes or skin. All non-permanent lines should be white. Lime or caustic material of any kind is prohibited" there is no formal penalty for not having them marked. The same happens with the fair/foul line past the infield.

That said, last night, I did delay the start of the sectional final until they were painted considering a) the template was hanging in the dugout and b) they just chalked the fair/foul line to the plate. I was told it was a waste of chalk and replied I didn't really care. It's postseason, paint the lines.
 

Thavoice

Well-known member
Like the good coach said, mental notes are a good idea. That is what I do. I also preventative officiate if I see it close and tell the batter "hey #6 your front foot is close to being out of the box on the ground when you make contact - just take care of that for me, ok?" and that works 99.9% of the time. If anything, they know you are now watching them.

One additional thought - in more cases than not lines are not painted so the boxes are what I as umpire say they are if I have to enforce this (i.e foot on the plate, an egregious violation, etc.

While the rules book says in 1-2-2 "All lines on the playing field shall be marked with a material which is not injurious to the eyes or skin. All non-permanent lines should be white. Lime or caustic material of any kind is prohibited" there is no formal penalty for not having them marked. The same happens with the fair/foul line past the infield.

That said, last night, I did delay the start of the sectional final until they were painted considering a) the template was hanging in the dugout and b) they just chalked the fair/foul line to the plate. I was told it was a waste of chalk and replied I didn't really care. It's postseason, paint the lines.
I was thinking this the other day when I say a batters box all fubar. When I ran a tourney I wiped out the boxes and redid them.
If you see BBox so jacked up, that it seems to be square tht the pitcher would need to be feet away from the rubber....would you make them redo it? I remember pitching a game that was like that and I had our batters wipe out the whole damn thing as it was so off center
 

AllSports12

Moderator
I was thinking this the other day when I say a batters box all fubar. When I ran a tourney I wiped out the boxes and redid them.
If you see BBox so jacked up, that it seems to be square tht the pitcher would need to be feet away from the rubber....would you make them redo it? I remember pitching a game that was like that and I had our batters wipe out the whole damn thing as it was so off center
One way or another, we are getting a broom and eliminating the lines..... whether or not new lines are put down is small potatoes at that point.
 
In my whole career, I haven't called 5 batters out for violating this rule. The batter is out when he/she contacts the pitched ball with their foot on the ground completely out of the box, or touching home plate when that contact occurs.

Unless it is a turf field with permanent lines, it is very difficult to see the foot on the ground, completely outside the box at contact. What may look like a player out of the box, is actually a player nearly out of the box.

With regards to the plate, the umpire is tracking the ball with his eyes and not focusing on the ground. On a high pitch, it very easy to miss the batter stepping on the plate.
Thanks for the reply. I figure that the home plate ump is entirely focused on the ball and can't really see the feet of the batter. We've ended up playing several games on turf fields (due to the wet conditions) and that's where I saw a few hitters out of the box.
 
One way or another, we are getting a broom and eliminating the lines..... whether or not new lines are put down is small potatoes at that point.
I've also had to walk down past 3rd base and wipe out lines after the base that wobbled back and forth and then curved off toward out of play. Had my partner do the same at 1st. I've let wobbly lines go before, but I really wasn't looking forward to a ball hitting 3 feet outside of where the line should be and having to signal fair - and then having to hear 1/2 the observers wail on about it the rest of the game.
 

Gnep27

Member
Bases loaded, 2 outs, batter draws a walk. Runner on third is walking home and runner from second tries to sneak in behind him and score (never passes him). The umpire called interference on the lead runner because he was in the way when they tried to make a play on the kid advancing from second. In turn, third out, run didn’t count.
I have a few rules questions on the play.
1. What is the responsibility of the lead runner or any runner advancing on a walk. In this case, he was literally walking down the baseline towards home. Because the other runner was close to him, they called interference. (I thought the call was fine because it was a stupid play but just curious what the lead runner could do in that spot)
2. Let’s say they didn’t call obstruction and tagged the runner from second trying to score before the lead runner stepped on home, does the run not count? In other words, is a bases loaded walk essentially a timing play where the runner must touch home before the third out is made elsewhere.

I know these are weird circumstances that I have never seen before and probably won’t see again but that’s what I ask the question, because it was weird. As always, appreciate the insight.
 

CoachHoversten

Well-known member
What a fantastic scenario!! Honestly, that’s a barn burner, never heard this scenario before.

First, a walk is a base award. It is the right to advance legally to the next base without being put out.

Second, a runner commits INT when they impede a fielder from fielding a batted ball or when they intentionally impede the fielder making a play or throw. Since this wasn’t a batted ball , R3 would have to do something intentional to call him for INT.

So, assuming he did not, I would have R2 out for being tagged and R3 run still counts (assuming he touches the plate), even if it is after R2 was put out. This is not a time play since R3 has been awarded home by virtue of the batter being awarded first.

Now, if R3 actually did something intentional, he realizes his teammate is going to be put out and tries to impede their play, then he is out for INT which is an immediate dead ball and no run would score.

Hope I got that all right, that’s a doozy
 

Gnep27

Member
Thank you!
What a fantastic scenario!! Honestly, that’s a barn burner, never heard this scenario before.

First, a walk is a base award. It is the right to advance legally to the next base without being put out.

Second, a runner commits INT when they impede a fielder from fielding a batted ball or when they intentionally impede the fielder making a play or throw. Since this wasn’t a batted ball , R3 would have to do something intentional to call him for INT.

So, assuming he did not, I would have R2 out for being tagged and R3 run still counts (assuming he touches the plate), even if it is after R2 was put out. This is not a time play since R3 has been awarded home by virtue of the batter being awarded first.

Now, if R3 actually did something intentional, he realizes his teammate is going to be put out and tries to impede their play, then he is out for INT which is an immediate dead ball and no run would score.

Hope I got that all right, that’s a doozy
 

The Dock

Well-known member
This is more of a bookkeeping question than it is "did the blues get it right", but I'll shoot it here anyways.

2 outs, Team 'A' is batting. A1 is runner on 1B; A2 batting. Count has <2 strikes. A1 steals second, A2 swings and commits batter interference. Inning over.

Next inning, next at-bat. A2 (who had just committed interference) is tentatively the next batter, per the line-up card. I couldn't tell who prompted it first, but after conversation with the team's coach and a conference with the other two umps, A2 is not granted an at-bat. A3 then leads off the inning.

A) what's the correct way to score this; b) is there a reference that says A2 is out of an at-bat despite that they were not the third out called on the field the previous inning?
 

umpire16

Active member
This is more of a bookkeeping question than it is "did the blues get it right", but I'll shoot it here anyways.

2 outs, Team 'A' is batting. A1 is runner on 1B; A2 batting. Count has <2 strikes. A1 steals second, A2 swings and commits batter interference. Inning over.

Next inning, next at-bat. A2 (who had just committed interference) is tentatively the next batter, per the line-up card. I couldn't tell who prompted it first, but after conversation with the team's coach and a conference with the other two umps, A2 is not granted an at-bat. A3 then leads off the inning.

A) what's the correct way to score this; b) is there a reference that says A2 is out of an at-bat despite that they were not the third out called on the field the previous inning?
Ultimately they got it right.

They key here is actually the number of outs. Under 7-3-5d Penalty when the batter interferes with a steal play with two outs, the batter is the one out and thus inning over. He would not be the next batter up it would be A3 thusly.

A side note - if there are two strikes and less than two outs and the interference happens on strike three, in the umpire's judgement if it prevented a double play one can be called.

Scoring-wise, admittedly umpires pay very little attention to Rule 9, but this is considered a putout by the catcher (see 9-5-2 exception 1). I am fairly certain in any case of interference it is a putout to the affected member of the defense.

A2 IS the third out with two outs in this case regardless.
 

The Dock

Well-known member
They key here is actually the number of outs. Under 7-3-5d Penalty when the batter interferes with a steal play with two outs, the batter is the one out and thus inning over. He would not be the next batter up it would be A3 thusly.
OK -- yup. They got this straightened out for sure before the next inning started. Initially HPU had declared batter inference, "runner's out" and it ended the frame. As fans we don't get to see too many innings end like that!
A side note - if there are two strikes and the interference happens on strike three, in the umpire's judgement if it prevented a double play one can be called.

Scoring-wise, admittedly umpires pay very little attention to Rule 9, but this is considered a putout by the catcher (see 9-5-2 exception 1). I am fairly certain in any case of interference it is a putout to the affected member of the defense.
Sounds good. Thanks!
 

Gardens35

Well-known member
Bases loaded, 2 outs, batter draws a walk. Runner on third is walking home and runner from second tries to sneak in behind him and score (never passes him). The umpire called interference on the lead runner because he was in the way when they tried to make a play on the kid advancing from second. In turn, third out, run didn’t count.
I have a few rules questions on the play.
1. What is the responsibility of the lead runner or any runner advancing on a walk. In this case, he was literally walking down the baseline towards home. Because the other runner was close to him, they called interference. (I thought the call was fine because it was a stupid play but just curious what the lead runner could do in that spot)
2. Let’s say they didn’t call obstruction and tagged the runner from second trying to score before the lead runner stepped on home, does the run not count? In other words, is a bases loaded walk essentially a timing play where the runner must touch home before the third out is made elsewhere.

I know these are weird circumstances that I have never seen before and probably won’t see again but that’s what I ask the question, because it was weird. As always, appreciate the insight.

There have been some very interesting occurrences and questions/answers on this thread throughout the years, this one might be the most!
 

CoachHoversten

Well-known member
This is more of a bookkeeping question than it is "did the blues get it right", but I'll shoot it here anyways.

2 outs, Team 'A' is batting. A1 is runner on 1B; A2 batting. Count has <2 strikes. A1 steals second, A2 swings and commits batter interference. Inning over.

Next inning, next at-bat. A2 (who had just committed interference) is tentatively the next batter, per the line-up card. I couldn't tell who prompted it first, but after conversation with the team's coach and a conference with the other two umps, A2 is not granted an at-bat. A3 then leads off the inning.

A) what's the correct way to score this; b) is there a reference that says A2 is out of an at-bat despite that they were not the third out called on the field the previous inning?
When a batter commits INT, they are ALWAYS the person who is out unless the runner is thrown out despite the INT. Batter out, runner returns. In this case, since it was third out, obviously the runner need not return.

If the batter commits INT on strike 3, he is already out so the penalty for INT goes to the runner so they are both out
 

AllSports12

Moderator
So, assuming he did not, I would have R2 out for being tagged and R3 run still counts (assuming he touches the plate), even if it is after R2 was put out. This is not a time play since R3 has been awarded home by virtue of the batter being awarded first.
The FED disagrees.... This is an official interpretation from 2020 on a third out taking place before a runner has reached an awarded base. (home runs are awarded bases)

SITUATION 17: The bases are loaded with two outs. The batter hits the pitch over the fence for a grand slam home run. While circling the bases the batter-runner passes R1 between third base and home, before R1 touches home plate. R2 and R3 had touched home plate before the batter-runner passed R1. How many runs score?

RULING: The batter-runner is out for the third out the moment he passed a preceding runner, R1. This is a timing play and runs scored before the third out will count, but the batter-runner and R1 will not score. Score two runs. (8-4-2m, 9-1-1)
 

CoachHoversten

Well-known member
The FED disagrees.... This is an official interpretation from 2020 on a third out taking place before a runner has reached an awarded base. (home runs are awarded bases)

SITUATION 17: The bases are loaded with two outs. The batter hits the pitch over the fence for a grand slam home run. While circling the bases the batter-runner passes R1 between third base and home, before R1 touches home plate. R2 and R3 had touched home plate before the batter-runner passed R1. How many runs score?

RULING: The batter-runner is out for the third out the moment he passed a preceding runner, R1. This is a timing play and runs scored before the third out will count, but the batter-runner and R1 will not score. Score two runs. (8-4-2m, 9-1-1)
AS12, you know your stuff but passing and being put out are two very different things.

I know this is from NCAA but read this rule about being “put out” during a base award

Passing would fall under the “other runner out before reaching their base they are awarded”
 

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AllSports12

Moderator
AS12, you know your stuff but passing and being put out are two very different things.

I know this is from NCAA but read this rule about being “put out” during a base award

Passing would fall under the “other runner out before reaching their base they are awarded”
I was hoping you would challenge the Official Interpretation with a High School citation rather than an NCAA citation.... (again, please stop using NCAA rules on here) Because there is one......

Seeing that there is an official Interpretation from 2008 that matches the original post (darn near exactly), I posted the 2020 Interpretation to generate a discussion about that Interp versus the play at hand..... (the instructor in me made me do it ;) ) They are seemingly the same due to base awards being involved, but they are very different due to the base on balls and the award associated with it.

2008 NFHS Baseball Rule Interpretations

SITUATION 4:
With the bases loaded and two outs and a 3-2 count, the runners are off with the pitch. The pitch is ball four, but the runner from first slides into second and his momentum carries him over and past the base. The catcher makes a quick throw to second base and the tag is applied for the third out before the runner from third trots home and touches the plate. Does the run count?

RULING: Yes, the run does count. Each runner may, without liability to be put out, advance one base when he is forced to vacate his position on the bases due to the batter being awarded a base-on-balls. The runners advance past the bases to which they are entitled at their own risk. All runners are awarded one base, and as long as all the bases are touched appropriately, the run would count. (8-1-2a, 8-1-1c, Awards Table)

The base on balls is the difference.... (both situations involve base awards)
 

Ericles

Active member
I am not intimately familiar with HS baseball rules, so forgive me if this is a dumb question.

Final play in the Edison vs Waynedale D3 state championship game. What is the rule on runners touching preceding and succeeding bases in a game-ending situation like that? Is there any provision for replay at the state tournament level for baseball as there is for say, basketball?
 
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AllSports12

Moderator
I am not intimately familiar with HS baseball rules, so forgive me if this is a dumb question.

Final play in the Lincolnview vs Russia D3 state championship game. What is the rule on runners touching preceding and succeeding bases in a game-ending situation like that? Is there any provision for replay at the state tournament level for baseball as there is for say, basketball?
That was a 10-4 game (D4)

I believe you are talking about the Waynedale/Milan Edison game.

Since the bases were loaded, the batter-runner and the runners all bear the responsibility of advancing to the bases they were forced to advance to.....

If the batter-runner failed to touch first base or any of the other 3 runners failed to touch the next base (they were forced) then any of those 4 are subject to be called out on appeal by the defense.

In this game ending situation, that appeal must be made before all of the umpires have left the field of play. If one umpire is still on the field, the appeal may be made. If any of the runners are declared out for not touching the base they were forced to touch, then the run is cancelled and the game resumes with the start of the next inning.

There are no video replay provisions.
 
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Ericles

Active member
That was a 10-4 game (D4)

I believe you are talking about the Waynedale/Milan Edison game.

Since the bases were loaded, the batter-runner and the runners all bear the responsibility of advancing to the bases they were forced to advance to.....

If the batter-runner failed to touch first base or any of the other 3 runners failed to touch the next base (they were forced) then any of those 4 are subject to be called out on appeal by the defense.

In this game ending situation, that appeal must be made before all of the umpires have left the field of play. If one umpire is still on the field, the appeal may be made. If any of the runners are declared out for not touching the base they were forced to touch, then the run is cancelled and the game resumes with the start of the next inning.

There are no video replay provisions.
Yes, and I edited my previous comment to reflect that🙂.
 

AllSports12

Moderator
Not sure about a "money call".... but it sure would set off quite a fireworks show.

It would have been worth it to see/hear/read the meltdowns from the fans and media types if they appealed that non touch.
 

Ericles

Active member
I just saw the video, R2 definitely did not touch third and based on HPU standing there long after run scored, it was obvious he saw it and was waiting for a possible appeal.

That would have been a heck of a money call if they had appealed it.

Agreed. All four umpires took their sweet time exiting the field. They knew what had happened and gave Edison every chance in the world to appeal the play.
 

Ericles

Active member
Not sure about a "money call".... but it sure would set off quite a fireworks show.

It would have been worth it to see/hear/read the meltdowns from the fans and media types if they appealed that non touch.
In that situation, what is the proper way to appeal the play? Do you have to first notify the umpire? Although you should already know, can you ASK the umpire the proper way to appeal before you do so to cover yourself?

Also, within what time frame do you have to appeal? Do you lose it once even a single player leaves the field or do you retain the right until ALL players leave the field?
 
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AllSports12

Moderator
In that situation, what is the proper way to appeal the play? Do you have to first notify the umpire? Although you should already know, can you ASK the umpire the proper way to appeal before you do so to cover yourself?
Just verbally let one of them know you want to appeal..... A throw to a teammate standing on the base would work here as well. (obvious appeal)

The crew then will defer to the covering umpire.... In this case the third base umpire. Word from after the game is that he was ready for it.
 
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