Hey, Blue – Are The Hands Part of the Bat?
This month, we will dispel the myth that a batter’s hands are considered part of the bat when the batter is struck on the hands by a pitched ball. The situation described below is applicable in all divisions of Little League Baseball® and Little League Softball®.
Two runners are on base, and there are no outs and two strikes on the batter. The batter is set in the batter’s box and the pitcher delivers the pitch. The batter offers at the pitch and in the act of swinging the batter is hit on the hand by the pitch.
The umpire calls “dead ball” and indicates “strike three.”
After the manager requests and is granted time, he/she suggests that the player should be awarded first base because the ball hit the player’s hands. What is the ruling?
To make the proper call on this play, we reference the Definitions Section (2.00) of the 2014 Little League® Rulebook. Under part of the definition of a “strike,” on Page 64 Condition (e) states that a strike is a legal pitch that touches the batter’s person as the batter strikes at it. A dead ball is declared by the umpire.
Rule 6.05 (e) on Page 78 states: A batter is out when the batter attempts to hit a third strike and is touched by the ball.
In this scenario, the batter made an attempt to swing at the pitch. The swinging motion constitutes the batter offering at the pitch, making it a strike. The dead ball is called to eliminate the opportunity for a runner(s) to advance. A common misconception is that hands are part of the bat. The hands are part of a person’s body. If a pitch hits the batter’s hands the ball is dead; if he/she swung at the pitch, a strike is called (NOT a foul). If the batter was avoiding the pitch, the batter would be awarded first base.