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Reader's Submission

I'm a Little League Umpire and Assistant District Administrator in Pennsylvania District 27.

A question I like to have fun with is:

During a six-inning Little League (baseball or softball) game, on average, how many times does the umpire get hit by a foul tip?

Answer:  0

Rule 2.00 Definitions: A foul tip is a batted ball that goes sharp and direct from the bat to the catcher's hands and is legally caught. It is not a foul tip unless caught and any foul tip that is caught is a strike, and the ball is in play. It is not a catch if it is a rebound, unless the ball has first touched the catcher's glove or hand. A foul tip can only be caught by the catcher.

"A foul ball is a batted ball that settles in foul territory between home and first base, or between home and third base, or that bounds past first of third base in, or over, foul territory, or that first falls in foul territory beyond first or third base, or that while in or over foul territory, touches the person of an umpire or player, or any object foreign to the natural ground."

Note: These rules definitions are quoted from the 2008 Little League Softball Rulebook

In simple terms, a foul tip MUST be caught by the catcher, if the batted ball touches the umpire, it's a foul ball.  Here's what confuses people. Fans refer to a ball coming off the bat a "tipped ball."  The ball could have tipped off the bat, but..............

Thanks for reading,
John Zaneski

Do you have an interesting interpretation you would like to share? Please send it to fairball@LittleLeague.org.