Softball
Softball

Weekly Announcements

April
30




Identification Cards
Umpires should provide coaches a card with their name and town on it prior to each contest so they know who the umpires are for each game. In many cases this is the only way coaches know who to recommend for postseason. Don’t assume they know you – or that they will remember who you were when they submit recommendations.

Video of Other Team
It is not permissible for a team to video another team that they are not currently playing. Doing this is a direct violation of KSHSAA policy.

Got to Have Nine
For any level of contest each team must be able to provide nine players to start the game. You can finish with eight if a player in the lineup if someone during the course of the game is unable to play. NFHS Rule Reference: 4-3-1f

Batted Ball Strikes Runner
We are looking at 5-1-1f page 47 in this case. The rule states: (DEAD BALL) a fair batted ball, which is on or over fair ground, 1. Touches a runner or an umpire before touching any fielder and before passing any fielder other than the pitcher (8-1-2a, 8-4-1f, 8-6-11); So black and white if a batted ball touches a runner before an infielder has an opportunity to make a play then it is a dead ball and the runner is out. Batter-runner would obtain first base. But we also need to look at 8-1-2a. This states that if the ball strikes a runner after it has passed a fielder other than pitcher and if no other infielder had an opportunity at the ball to make a play then the ball stays live and in play.

So as an umpire sees the infield “in” for a situation that calls for it, be aware that you could encounter a situation where the ball remains live and in play if the ball contacts a runner off the bat.

Situation 1: With R1 on second base, B2 hits the ball toward F6, the ball gets past her and she turns to be in position to retrieve the ball from F7. As F6 turns toward the outfield, R1 is forced to run around her as she tries to advance to third base. F7 fields the ball and throws to F5 who tags R1 out on a close play at third base. Ruling: F6 is guilty of obstruction since she was not making an initial play on a batted ball nor did she have possession of the ball when she impeded R1’s progress. The umpire should signal a delayed dead ball and verbalize obstruction when the obstruction occurred, once the obstructed runner is put out they should call and signal a dead ball and award R1 the base she would have received in their judgement had there been no obstruction, in this case most likely third base. (Rule 8-4-3b PENALTIES a)

Situation 2: With the outfield playing in, B1 hits a long fly ball that hits the fence in the air. As she rounds first base she is contacted by F3 who has moved toward the outfield watching F9 retrieve the ball who at this point has not reached the ball. The contact knocks both F3 and B1 to the ground, it takes some time for B1 and F3 to get untangled and B1 returns to first base since F9 is now throwing the ball to F4 at second base. The umpire signals a delayed dead ball and obstruction when F3 impedes B1’s progress. At the end of the play the offensive coach asks if B1 is to be awarded second base and the umpire informs them that since B1 did not attempt to advance to second base by rule he cannot award them that base. Ruling: This is an incorrect ruling. Once a runner is obstructed the umpire has to judge what base that runner, and all other runners affected by the obstruction, would have reached had there been no obstruction. At the end of the playing action, if the obstructed runner has not obtained the base they would have reached had there not been obstruction, the umpire should award the base or bases they would have reached in their judgement, in this case most likely second base. (Rule 8-4-3b PENALTIES c)

Situation 3: With B2 at bat, R1 is leading off of first base and F2 throws to F3 for an attempted putout. As F3 is setting up for the throw she causes R1 to have to step around her to reach first base. The umpire verbalizes obstruction and signals a delayed dead ball. The first bases coach now instructs R1 to advance to second base. In (a) R1 is thrown out at second base. In (b) F3’s throw is off line and R1 is safe at second base. Ruling: In (a) since R1 was obstructed between first and second base she cannot be called out between those two bases, unless she violates one of the exceptions listed, so R1 would be placed on the base she would have reached had there been no obstruction in this case most likely first base. In (b) R1’s advance to second base is legal and she will remain on second base. (Rule 8-4-3b PENALTIES a)

Situation 4: With R1 on third base, B2 hits a ground ball to F4. R1 starts to advance and F4 holds the ball to keep them from advancing home. As B2 rounds first base, she collides with F3 who is standing on the corner of first base. F4 with the ball in hand runs B2 back to first base, then throws the ball to F5 at third base to make a play on the returning R1. The first base coach now tells B2 to advance to second base since she was obstructed between first and second base. F5 now throws to F4 who tags B2 out on a close play at second base. The umpire, who originally verbalized obstruction and signaled a delayed deal ball when F3 obstructed B2 now signals a dead ball and awards B2 second base. Ruling: This is an incorrect ruling. Once B2 reached the base she would have reached had there been no obstruction, in this case first base, and there was a subsequent play on another runner (throw to third base to play on R1) B2 is no longer protected between first and second base and if she is putout she will remain out. (Rule 8-4-3b PENALTIES a, EXCEPTIONS 1)

Situation 5: B1 hits a fly ball to center field that is dropped. As B1 is rounding first base she has to run around F3. The umpire verbalizes obstruction and signals a delayed dead ball, in their judgment B1 would have reached second base had there been no obstruction. B1 advances to second base, but her coach having seen the obstruction signals her to continue to third base where she is easily putout. The umpire calls B1 out at third base Ruling: This is a correct ruling. Since B1 advanced past the base she would have reached in the umpires judgment had there not been obstruction, they are no longer protected and will be called out and the ball remains live. (Rule 8-4-3b PENALTIES b)

Situation 6: B1 sharply hits a ground ball to F6 who miss plays the ball and then makes a bad throw to F3 pulling them into the running lane where she impedes the progress of B1 running to first base, F3 continues and retrieving the ball tags B1 prior to reaching first base. The umpire calls B1 out, ruling that since F3 was in the act of fielding the thrown ball they are not guilty of obstruction. Ruling: This is an incorrect ruling, Rule 8-4-3b states that if a fielder impedes the progress of a runner when they are not in possession of the ball or not in the act of making an initial play on a batted ball they are guilty of obstruction. In this case the umpire should have verbalized obstruction and signaled a delayed dead ball when F3 impeded B1’s progress. Once B1 was putout, they should have called a dead ball and awarded B1 first base.

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