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Discussion: Is Runner Out

Posted Discussion
April 25, 2021
DC 84
4 posts
Is Runner Out
runners on 1st and 2nd no outs, batter hits a ball up the middle which goes off the pitchers glove and then hits the runner who was advancing to 3rd,

1) is the runner out?

2) does this remain a live ball play on?

3) would the call be different it the ball went off the pitchers leg instead of his glove?
April 25, 2021
DaveDowell
Men's 70
4200 posts
DC 84 ... See Rulebook 9.1 X on page 54 ...
__________

9.1 DEAD BALL
X. When a fair batted ball strikes an umpire or base runner on fair ground before passing or touching an infielder, excluding the pitcher. EXCEPTION: A fair batted ball that deflects off the pitcher's glove remains a live ball. EFFECT: The batter is awarded first base, and runners advance one base only if forced with the exception that a runner struck while off base is out. (See also 8.2 C.)
__________

For a batted ball that strikes the pitcher (other than by deflecting off his glove), the following applies:

8.2 BATTER BECOMES A BATTER-RUNNER
C. When he bats a fair ball even though it strikes another player, umpire or their attached clothing or equipment.
1. If the runner is hit with a fair batted ball while touching a base, he is not out. EFFECT: The ball is live or dead depending on the position of the fielder closest to the ball. If the closest defensive player is in front of the base runner hit by the ball, the ball remains live. However, after the runner in contact with the base is hit by the batted ball, it shall be the same as hitting the ground. Since the ball remains live, the defense is free to make whatever plays are available. If the defensive player is behind the base runner, the ball is ruled dead, the hitter is awarded a base hit and runners are advanced only if forced to advance.
2. If the runner is hit by the ball while off base and before it passes an infielder (excluding the pitcher), the ball is dead and the hit runner is declared out. The batter-runner is awarded first base without liability to be put out.

April 25, 2021
DC 84
4 posts
Dave Dowel, I have read the rule you posted several times and to me the wording is quite confusing.

Please tell me if I have this correct, per your rules in both cases the runner is out?

from my question #1, if the ball goes off the pitchers glove it's a live ball, and then if the ball hits the runner even though the pitcher stuck out his glove to make a play on the ball he is not considered a fielder that the ball has passed, so therefore the runner is out, Correct?

So if it's a live ball and the runner is out then it must become a dead ball once the ball hits the runner because now you have awarded the batter and others runners a base, correct?

Question, why isn't the pitcher considered a fielder when he tried to catch the ball? Is he ever considered a fielder? I could understand the runner being out if the ball went by the pitcher with no contact.
April 26, 2021
DaveDowell
Men's 70
4200 posts
DC 84 ... Your hypothetical fact pattern does not contain enough information to suggest a specific answer ... Where was the closest defender in relation to the base runner going to 3rd base? ... In front of or behind that runner? ... When you determine that fact, apply 8.2C.2 for the determination of remedy, if any ...
April 26, 2021
DC 84
4 posts
Thank you again for your response, and there were no defenders near the ball or the runner and yes the closest defensive player near the runner was way off to the side but behind the runner. The way I read the rules you have posted is that there is no scenario where a runner is not called out if he is hit with a batted ball while off the base that passed the pitcher with or without the pitcher touching it and assuming the nearest defender is behind him.

I've only been playing senior softball a short time but in my younger playing and sometimes umpiring days in ASA and USSSA if the pitcher got a glove on the ball he was then considered a fielder and it remained a live ball if it hit the runner and the defense could make any play possible.

One other thing that confuses me about your rule, it says that if the ball goes off the pitchers glove it remains a LIVE BALL , then the rule gives an EFFECT: The batter is awarded first base, and runners advance one base only if forced with the exception that a runner struck while off base is out.

How are bases awarded if the ball remained alive per the rule?


9.1 DEAD BALL
X. When a fair batted ball strikes an umpire or base runner on fair ground before passing or touching an infielder, excluding the pitcher. EXCEPTION: A fair batted ball that deflects off the pitcher's glove remains a live ball. EFFECT: The batter is awarded first base, and runners advance one base only if forced with the exception that a runner struck while off base is out.
April 26, 2021
DaveDowell
Men's 70
4200 posts
Correct assumption ... In your refined scenario your base runner is out because the nearest defender is behind ... He would be in a "play on" situation if the defender was in front of him ... For Rule 9.1 X, try reading the EXCEPTION last rather than as the second sentence where it (confusingly) appears ... It should make more sense that way ...
April 26, 2021
jl1919
10 posts
DC84- I was the umpire for this play. I researched this play several times last night(as I told you I would). I even spoke with a neighboring state U.I.C about it. I now have several interpretations. I made the call that I thought was right. I do appreciate the discussions we had about it, during and after the game. You and your teammates are class acts as well as a great team. I wish you nothing but success the rest of the year.
April 26, 2021
DC 84
4 posts
jl1919, thank you, I would definitely be interested in reading about the several interpretations you were given on the play
April 26, 2021
B.J.
1080 posts
DC.. you are correct that SSUSA is the only assoc. that does not consider the pitcher to be a fielder at any time when a batted ball hits a runner while off the base.. I don't care for the rule and luckily have never had to call it.. I believe that if a pitcher can get a glove on the ball and possibly field it that he should be considered a fielder and not penalize the offense .. also with it being a live ball the defense now can make any play that they are capable of.

jl... i'd also like to hear the different interpretations that you were given on the play
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