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Discussion: You make the call - please

Posted Discussion
Oct. 16, 2021
DCPete
402 posts
You make the call - please
This happened in a Rec League game: Rule 7.6.E says Batter is Out if they deliberately Bunt, Chop Down or fail to take a Full Swing at a pitched ball. A left-handed Batter started to swing at an outside pitch but actually checked their swing at the last second. But the ball hit their bat and rolled so slowly towards 3rd Base that the batter and all runners were safe. So the question is the Batter failed to take a full swing but did not deliberately hit the ball. Safe or Out?
Oct. 16, 2021
B.J.
924 posts
dcpete.. in the past this issue has come up because MANY hitters do not take a FULL swing as it states they must do per the rule.. the problem is there is no actual definition in the rule book as to what is considered a full swing ...
many times when a batter is hitting to the opposite field they basically take a 1/2 to 2/3 of a swing... .. the best i can tell you is that if that bat motion started forward and contacted the ball it's considered a "full" swing and is legal .. what the batter can't do is actually just turn and stick out his bat as in bunting..
that is one rule I would like to see amended and remove the FULL SWING part
Oct. 17, 2021
Turning2
Men's 70
131 posts
DCPete - Your post stated that the batter checked his swing, which an umpire should interpret as he "did not swing", instead barely BUNTING?? the ball slowly down the third base line. I would interpret this as a violation of Rule 7.6.E that you reference and call him out.

This is quite a bit different than a skilled hitter taking what many view as a "half or three quarter" swing to place the ball between defenders as BJ has referenced. These are still swings, the checked swing slow roller is akin to a drag bunt in baseball which is not allowed in slow pitch softball, hence the out call.



Oct. 17, 2021
DaveDowell
Men's 65
3562 posts
I was going to "sit this one out", but if the facts as presented by DCPete are strictly interpreted (and they should be), a "check swing" is not a full swing, the definition in the rule, like it or not, under any interpretation ... In fact it's likely not a swing at all ... I hope the umpire working that game if it's at my facility has an OUT ... Respectfully, I concur with T2 on this ...
Oct. 17, 2021
B.J.
924 posts
T2 & DD.. DD as you know I'm a stickler for how a rule is written, I do not like any gray area where a team can question the rule.. it should be in black and white and with a definition if needed.. we've certainly had many agree to disagree over the years and this will probably be another UNLESS you can find a rule/definition for me lol

I understand what you 2 are saying but can either of you show me in ANY rule book the definition of what a checked swing is?? This is an umpire "judgment" call.. In fact MLB has no definition they say it is umpire judgment.

Since senior softball rules has no definition as to what a FULL swing (other than I will know it when I see it) and in the rule book it doesn't state how hard a batter must actually swing the bat.. so how can a call be made of a checked swing (not a full swing) on a batter ?
again this is umpire judgment

In the OP it stated the ball rolled slowly down the 3rd base line .. without seeing the actual play IMO for that to happen the barrel of the bat had to be moving forward and MUST have crossed over some part of HP when it contacted the ball with the bat ending up out over the plate.. (so not a bunt) when I have called a no swing on a batter the handle of the bat is still facing somewhat forward and the barrel never started to cross the plate so with no rule stating what a full swing is it becomes umpire judgment and not a cut and dry that the batter is out for a checked/ not a full swing

I just did a game the other day with over the fence HR limits of 5 per game and 1 team reached that .. the guy at bat had already crushed 3 over the LF fence.. on the 1st pitch he barely swung toward RF getting a blooper over the 1B head they all laughed at his swing.. after seeing his first three at bats would you have called him out for just slapping the ball to RF?? It certainly wasn't a TRUE FULL SWING
Oct. 17, 2021
DaveDowell
Men's 65
3562 posts
B.J. ... Language clean-up is always a desired goal ... But unless and until that happens with this particular rule, my position is: There is NO conceivable and reasonable interpretation that converts a "check swing" into the realm of a "full swing", regardless of how either may or may not be defined specifically ... Those are, to any reasonably intelligent person, mutually exclusive terms/concepts/definitions in my view ... And that's a judgment call on the check swing, right San Francisco Giants fans? ... Respectfully, I still have an OUT on this one ...
Oct. 17, 2021
DCPete
402 posts
Kind of agree with BJ regarding fixing the exact wording of this rule since it reads that the batter is Out if he Deliberately fails to take a full swing at a pitched ball. With an actual check swing in this case, the batter didn't Deliberately fail to take a full swing since it was obvious they weren't even trying to hit the ball at all. Should the wording be changed to remove the word "deliberately"?
Oct. 17, 2021
B.J.
924 posts
DCPete.. "EXCELLENT POINT" ... to any reasonably intelligent person) (lol) if a batter is checking his swing then he did not "deliberately" swing and hit the ball.. so therefore a checked swing as you call it cannot be called out if he makes contact with the ball





Oct. 18, 2021
Turning2
Men's 70
131 posts
So the scenario below happens often in Senior softball:
Batter takes a mighty swing and for whatever reason, the ball snibs the bat and slowly rolls somewhere in the infield and no one can make a play on the ball, usually because most of us are a bit slow a foot. Play on, defense make a play if you can, runner hustle to first with an infield single and umpire really has nothing to call.

In the situation described in original post, there was no "swing" instead the batter checked his swing, but as happens often, misjudged the flight of the ball and the position of his bat and inadvertently ? or deliberately ? hits a slow roller somewhere in the infield that none of the fielders have an opportunity to make a play on. The umpire now plays an important role in the game to interpret the written rules. In first paragraph, there is a swing, in the second paragraph, there is no swing.

An umpire's job is to use the rule book to render a fair and equitable ruling and when necessary he interjects his judgment into the call. Good umpires know what this call should be.

Oct. 18, 2021
B.J.
924 posts
T2…. Using the “OP” and his judgment of the play he wrote….
A left-handed Batter started to swing at an outside pitch but “actually checked their swing at the last second.” but the ball hit their bat and rolled slowly towards 3rd base… so per the written rule and with the OP stating that
“the batter ACTUALLY CHECKED HIS SWING “ there should be no call on this play other than. Play On
Oct. 18, 2021
Turning2
Men's 70
131 posts
BJ I'm not on here to argue, but i will emphasize two sentences and copy them from the original post, i don't know how to highlight or underline in these posts so here are those two sentences.

1 - Rule 7.6.E says Batter is Out if they deliberately Bunt, Chop Down or fail to take a Full Swing at a pitched ball. copied from OP

Note the wording, "fail to take a full swing at a pitched ball".

2. A left-handed Batter started to swing at an outside pitch but actually checked their swing at the last second. copied from OP

Note the wording, "started to swing ............... checked their swing at the last second.

Now your last sentence in the post directly above,

“the batter ACTUALLY CHECKED HIS SWING “ there should be no call on this play other than. Play On

Play on is correct, with the batter out for failing to comply with Rule 7.6.E and all base runners returning from the base that they occupied prior to the pitched ball being struck "in a manner other than a full swing"

In your sentence, You have reinforced every aspect of the rule but fail in enforcing the rule.

Oct. 18, 2021
B.J.
924 posts
T2.. I don't consider discussing a rule as arguing.. were good.. but the way the OP worded RULE 7.6 E was not correct.. the actual rule is below...

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.

putting the word deliberately in with bunt and chop down on changes the context of the rule..

as you can read above.. it specifies the batter is out if he doesn't take a full swing when he deliberately is hitting a pitched ball.. and in the OP's judgment the batter checked his swing so there was no intention at all of hitting the ball.. but when the ball made contact with the checked swing and the ball rolled down 3rd base in fair territory it should be play on.. IMO
Oct. 18, 2021
Turning2
Men's 70
131 posts
BJ The positioning of the word deliberately in the sentence doesn't change the rule in any way.

The batter enters the box with full intentions to hit the ball, his bat hits the ball but he has stopped his swing, STOPPED HIS SWING. You capitalized FULL SWING above, he does not take a full swing. You see it, you have said it, you have fully endorsed the written rule, yet you still try to justify some other interpretation of the written 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.

So above is the rule, am I understanding you to say that he accidentally hit the ball? What's next, a do over? Batter says, "oh I'm sorry, I didn't mean to hit that pitch? Throw me another pitch. What if he checked his swing and hit a foul on his third strike? Oh I'm sorry I didn't deliberately hit that foul, give me another pitch.

I'll say it one last time, A GOOD UMPIRE KNOWS WHAT THE CORRECT CALL IS


Oct. 18, 2021
B.J.
924 posts
T2.. you just stated above that he stopped his swing .. so that takes the deliberately hitting the ball out of this scenario .. and the OP said he didn't mean to hit it ... so you can't call him out for not taking a full swing

as far as your questions.. no you don't have a do over.. if on the checked swing the ball went foul and it was a 3rd strike I would have an out ...if he had popped it up to the catcher and it was caught I would have an out.. ​but on his checked swing his bat made contact with the ball and it rolled in fair territory.. and you are correct a good umpire would know what the correct call is ...
fair ball play on

until you, DD or anyone else can show me a written rule that says a checked swing fair ball is an out ... we will have to agree to disagree

Oct. 18, 2021
DCPete
402 posts
Personally didn't care if the batter should be safe or out in this particular situation but don't want to call the batter out for "deliberately" failing to take a full swing when he didn't deliberately mean to even hit the ball at all which is why he checked his swing.
It's not reasonable to ask an umpire to enforce a rule that doesn't really apply to the situation that actually happened when the rule isn't worded to account for the situation in question.
There is no reference in the existing rule to a check swing or any non-deliberately struck batted ball.
Oct. 18, 2021
Turning2
Men's 70
131 posts
BJ & DCPete - there is an old saying, “there’s only two ways to argue with a woman…………….and neither one works”. I have to put you two in the same category .

DD is one of the Sr Softball USA officials and we both agree on the ruling, once again based on the circumstances, written rules, and experienced umpire judgment. That’s all I’ve got, enjoy any further discussions.
Oct. 19, 2021
B.J.
924 posts
T2... lmao... that's hilarious adding DD in with you on you both agreeing on this rule..

what about the MANY posts in the past when you always seem to disagree with him on rules... and as I recall you are still researching a few to prove him wrong, still waiting!!!
Oct. 19, 2021
Webbie25
Men's 65
2327 posts
Interesting discussion. I believe the batter is out and here is why. If you allow a 'checked' swing hit, there are too many people with good enough bat control to learn to 'check' a swing at any time and abuse the rule. Seeing an actual checked swing is very rare-I remember maybe 5 times in my career. It needs to go as an out if contact is made and the ball goes fair. Always.
Oct. 19, 2021
Turning2
Men's 70
131 posts
BJ - I didn't ask DD to agree with me. He posted above in response to the original post and immediately after your first post and mine also. His position being the same as my position.

He then responded a second time to your insistence on either of us producing a rule explaining what a checked swing is. The original post called the batters swing, a "checked" swing which as Dave alluded to in his second post can not in any way be compared to a full swing.

The rule is clear, the batter came to bat with full intentions to hit the ball, made contact without a full swing and produced a slow roller toward 3rd base that couldn't be fielded in time to produce an out.

OK, he didn't deliberately chop the ball, so no violation of the rule.
OK, he didn't slide his hand down the barrel of the bat and bunt the ball, so no violation of the rule.
OK, but he did not take a full swing when he hit the ball, he was in control and deliberately stopped his SWING. Both you and DCPete acknowledge that he intentionally, deliberately stopped his swing. Everything he did was deliberate, didn't have to intentionally make contact but he did WITHOUT taking a full swing.

Without calling an out, you penalize the defense for something that is out of their control, BUT clearly covered by rule and award the batter for doing something that is not allowed under the rules.

And yes, there have been instances that DD and I have disagreed, so with him agreeing with me adds substance to both of our positions. I think there are times when you have either agreed with DD or enlisted his input when you and I, or others, have differed. What now, you completely discount his opinion when it doesn't fit your agenda?

Reply if you'd like, but the rule book supports my interpretation.




Oct. 19, 2021
DCPete
402 posts
Agree in principle with Webbie & T2 that a check swing should never work to a hitter's benefit but it's just the wording of the current Rule that's the problem. Problem would be solved by simply removing the word "Deliberate" from the Rule so a check swing would result in an Out anytime it produced a fair batted ball.
Oct. 19, 2021
jimperry19
56 posts
Webbie, I have always enjoyed your posts on this board and I have almost always agreed with what you have to say. That opinion changed today when you started your post with the words "Interesting Discussion" :). This is classic 'Beating a Dead Horse' and Turning2, you need to quit saying that you are not on here to argue. That's all you do and unless people totally agree with you, you keep coming back like a bad cold. There needs to be a separate board for BJ, Turning and Wayne to argue about random senior softball situations.
Oct. 19, 2021
Turning2
Men's 70
131 posts
jimperry19 - not really sure who you are or why you commented? Do you have something to contribute or just sit on the sidelines and criticize?

I surely don't need you to jump on here after all of the discussions that have developed to tell me anything. I have a wife of 50 years that tells me often enough what to do.

You have a nice day Mr jimperry19 and maybe you will come back when you have something to contribute. Stronger words apply, but I won't stoop to your level.
Oct. 20, 2021
Webbie25
Men's 65
2327 posts
Well, excuse me, Mr. Jim Perry. I was commenting on the original discussion about the checked swing, and not the comments that came after. I have seen that happen before and agree it needs to be clarified, because the batter/runner was called safe in that game. I believe he should be out.
Oct. 25, 2021
txnighttrain
107 posts
The key word in the rule is "deliberately". It is an umpire judgement call. If the action is not deliberate, then it cannot be an out. I have seen on a few rare occasions a player stand at the plate with his bat on his shoulders and watch a bad pitch hit the bat. On on a very rare occasion, the ball went fair. These were not deliberate or intentional acts by the batter. However, if a batter had intented a full swing on an outside pitch, I doubt he checked his swing. USSSA reclarified this rule to intentionally hitting the ball slowly under it's definition of a bunt. This cut out the full swing issue where a guy would take a full swing but hit the ball slowly like a bunt. I called a guy out in doing it. He then did it the next week and another umpire called him out. He quit after that. He later would hit little bloopers into right field. Players wanted to call him out. I told them that a ball that lands in the outfield is not getting that call. The intent of the rule was to stop "intentional bunt like contact". A ball in the outfield wouldn't apply.
Oct. 25, 2021
Turning2
Men's 70
131 posts
txnighttrain - I'm sure there are a lot of folks on here struggling to understand what you have posted. It's the umpire's judgement whether or not the batter deliberately hit the ball?

BJ clearly posted the rule as it appears in the SSUSA Rulebook:

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.

So in your scenario, repeating the original post, batter started to swing, checked his swing, but miraculously the ball hit the bat or the bat hit the ball, but NOW 1) the ball rolled to a fielder and he threw out one of the runners. UMPIRE declares for all to hear, "he didn't deliberately hit that ball" what is the call? or 2) ball was hit too slowly for anyone to make a play on a runner. Does the UMPIRE again declare for all to hear, "he didn't deliberately hit that ball" what is the call now?

Try to use Rule 7.6.E and any other rule in the rule book to make your call, and what is the Effect? Do over?





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