This month, we will explain and define the proper method for appealing a play. The situations described below is applicable in all divisions of Little League Baseball® and Little League Softball®.
In the top of the fourth inning, with two outs and a runner on first base, a left-handed batter hits a ball to the outfield. The right fielder, fields the ball of off the ground and throws it to the second baseman. The base runner on first, rounds second and safely reaches third base. After the second baseman returns the ball to the infield, the shortstop takes the throw and tells the umpire, the runner missed second base. With the ball in his glove, the shortstop touches second base. The base umpire grants the appeal, and calls the base runner out for missing second base, ending the inning. After the defensive team exits the field, the Manager of the offensive team calls for “time” and approaches the umpire and asks for an explanation. The Manager claimed that the appeal was not valid because the play was “dead” when the ball was not returned to the pitcher before the appeal was made.
By Little League® definition, an appeal is an act of a fielder in claiming a violation of the rules by the offensive team. An appeal may be made anytime the ball is alive. The only time the ball must go to the pitcher is when time is out. If time is not out, the appeal can be made immediately.
Rule 5.11: Putting the Ball in Play – Live ball; and 7.10: The Runner; provide description of the application of a defensive appeal.