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 > Little League Online > Learn More > Newsletters > Coach's Box Newsletter > 2013 > Coach's Box - May/June > Stump the Ump Questions

Stump the Ump Questions

1. The batter bunts a ball directly in front of home plate. The catcher fields the ball and his throw to first base hits the batter-runner in the back a quarter of the way to first base, in fair territory. The umpire calls the batter-runner out for interference. Right or wrong.

2. In a Little League Baseball game on Tuesday, a pitcher reaches a day(s) of rest threshold of 35 pitches while facing a batter. The batter is retired after the pitcher has thrown a total of 40 pitches. The team has a game on Thursday and the manager starts this same pitcher in the game on Thursday. Is this legal?

3. In a Little League Softball game, after the batter has hit a double, the pitcher wants to make an appeal that the batter-runner missed first base on her way to second base. The pitcher toes the pitcher’s plate and without disengaging the pitcher’s plate, steps and throws directly to first base to make the appeal. The umpire calls an illegal pitch. Is this right or wrong?

4. On a base hit, the runner who is advancing from 1st base has his/her helmet fall off. The umpire calls time, places the runner on 2nd base and warns the runner that if his/her helmet falls off again, he/she will be called out because the rules state that a runner must have a helmet on. Is this right or wrong?

5. In a Senior Baseball Game, the runner on 1st base is stealing on the pitch. The batter fouls off the pitch which goes sharp and direct to the catcher’s chest protector and then is caught by the catcher. The umpire signals a foul tip and leaves the runner on 2nd base. Is this right or wrong?

6. With no outs and no runners on base, the batter has a full count on him/her. The batter swings at a pitch in the dirt for strike three which is then caught by the catcher. Thinking that he/she is out, the batter starts walking back to his/her dugout up the third base line. As he she approaches the dugout but before entering the dugout, his/her teammates tells him/her to run to first base because it is an uncaught third strike. The batter takes off for 1st base by running directly across the infield and makes it safely to 1st base. The umpire calls the batter out for being out of the baseline. Is this right or wrong?

7. In a Little League Baseball game with no runners on base, the pitcher while in contact with the pitcher’s plate drops the ball. The umpire calls an illegal pitch and awards a ball to the batter. Is this right or wrong?

8. In a Senior League Softball game, the batter from the 1st base side batter’s box attempts a slap hit which goes foul. The ball is returned to the pitcher and put into play by the umpire. While the pitcher is taking her sign from the catcher, the batter steps across home plate to the other batter’s box. The umpire calls the batter out. Is this right or wrong?

9. On a fly ball hit to outfield, the batter-runner is obstructed by the first baseman before reaching first base. The fly ball is caught by the outfielder and the umpire signals a catch and an out. The offensive manager argues that the batter-runner should be awarded first base on the obstruction. Is the umpire right or wrong?

10. After a ball four gets past the catcher, the batter-runner thinking that he/she may be able to get to second base takes off running hard towards first base. As he/she gets close to first base, the first coach says to stay at first base. The batter-runner’s momentum carries him/her past first base. The batter-runner goes a few feet down the foul line, turns to his/her left and attempts to return immediately to first base. The first baseman seeing the batter-runner turn to his/her left, tags the batter-runner before he/she can return to first base. The umpire calls the batter-runner out for turning to his/her left. Is this right or wrong?

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ANSWERS FOR THE STUMP THE UMP QUESTIONS

1. Wrong – Rule 6.05 (j) – The batter-runner is only required by rule to be in the runner’s lane once he/she has reached the halfway mark and since he/she was only one quarter of the way to first base, there cannot be a runner’s lane violation and the batter-runner would have had to do something intentional to be called out for interference so the ball is alive and in play.

2. Yes – Regulation VI (d) EXCEPTION – The pitcher reached the day(s) of rest threshold while pitching to the batter and will only be required to observe the calendar day(s) of rest threshold (35 pitches) that he reached during that at bat which was one calendar day’s rest which made him legal to pitch again on Thursday.

3. Right – Rule 8.05 (e) – An illegal pitch is when the pitcher throws to a base while the pivot foot is in contact with the pitcher’s plate. To throw to any base in softball the pitcher must disengage before making a throw for any reason while the ball is live.

4. Wrong – Rule 1.16 – Even though helmets are mandatory for all base runners, the umpire should not call time out until all action has ceased. There cannot be an out called for a runner losing their helmet, but if the player is intentionally removing his/her helmet while running the bases, he/she should be warned that intentionally removing the helmet can be grounds for removal from the game for unsportsmanlike conduct.

5. Wrong – Rule 2.00 – FOUL TIP – Even though the ball went sharp and direct from the bat to the catcher, it did not hit/touch the catcher’s hand or glove before hitting the catcher’s chest protector and being caught by the catcher. This is a rebound and a foul ball not a foul tip which means the runner must return to first base.

6. Wrong – Rule 6.05 (b) (2) APPROVED RULING – Since the catcher did not legally catch the third strike in flight, the batter-runner may attempt to advance to first base. The batter-runner can attempt to advance at anytime before entering the dugout or any other dead ball territory. To be put out the batter or first base must be tagged before the batter-runner reaches first base. The batter-runner can only be called out for being out of the baseline when he/she runs more than three feet out of his/her established baseline while trying to avoid a tag by the defensive player.

7. Wrong – Rule 8.05 (j) – To call an illegal pitch (a balk in Intermediate, Junior, Senior or Big League) under subsection (j) there must be a runner/s on base. If there are no runner(s) on base then it is nothing or as some call it a do over.

8. Right – Rule 6.06 (b) – The batter is out for illegal action when stepping from one batter’s box to the other while the pitcher is in a position to pitch.

9. The umpire is Right – Rule 7.06 (a) – Even though the batter-runner was obstructed before touching first base, the umpire is right because what would have happened had there been no obstruction. Since the fly ball was caught for the out on the batter, that is what would have happened with or without the obstruction.

10. Wrong – Rule 7.08 (c) EXCEPTION – The rule makes no distinction between a batter who has walked and any other batter-runner who has hit the ball. A batter who walks has the same right to overrun first base as a batter who has hit a ball in the infield or outfield and runs through the base. There is also no provision that says a batter-runner has to turn one way or the other whether it is a walk or batted ball. So a player that overruns first base can turn either way providing he/she returns immediately to first base. Now if in the judgment of the umpire the batter-runner makes a fake or an attempt to advance to second base (no matter which way he/she turned) then the batter-runner can be called out.