ARDSLEY LITTLE LEAGUE GENERAL RULES FOR ALL LEAGUES AND DIVISIONS
** 2011 LITTLE LEAGUE RULE CHANGES**
There have been a few changes to the Official Little League Rule Book for 2011 2011 LL Rule Changes-A list of the 2011 Rule Changes may be found at the following link: http://www.littleleague.org/learn/rules/rulechanges/2011ruleschanges/2011LLBBSBPolicyRuleRegulationChanges.htm Composite Bat Rule- 2011- At list of Little League Approved Composite
May be found at the following link: http://www.littleleague.org/learn/equipment.htm
The following items encompass, supplement and add to the official Little League Regulations and playing rules. Except as noted below, use Official Regulations and Playing Rules General Age & Grade Requirements (guidelines only, the League reserves the right to adjust as required)
Tee ball Division Pre-k, Kindergarten and 1st graders (that have not played teeball before) - must be at least 4 years old as of April 30th Baseball
- Minor A 1st and 2nd grade
- Minor AA 3rd grade
- Minor AAA 4th and 5th grade boys
- Majors 5th and 6th grade boys - max. age 12 years old as of April 30
- Juniors 7th grade and above - max. age 15 as of April 30th
- Softball Minor A 1st and 2nd grade
- Minor AAA 3rd, 4th & 5th grade Majors 6th and 7th grade - max. age 12 years old
- Juniors 8th grade and above -max. age 15
- Home team supplies 2 game baseballs/softballs/tee balls.
- Home team occupies the dugout along the 1st base line.
- Only 3 adult coaches are allowed in dugout.
- Winning teams report score and pitch-counts (where applicable) to the league Information Officer within (24) twenty four hours of completion of game.
- League Information Officer is accessed as follows: www.ArdsleyLittleLeague.com , click on "CONTACT BOARD" icon, select "INFORMATION OFFICER".
- Scores and pitch counts should be reported accurately and thoroughly.
- All Rain-Out Games shall be rescheduled by the League Scheduler.
- One adult coach must remain in the dugout at all times. In the event there are fewer than (3) three adult coaches present, a player may coach the bases provided he/she wears a helmet at all times.
- Nobody allowed out of dugout except batter and coaches.
- All equipment must be kept in dugouts. Helmets must be on, with straps, when batting, running bases, and coaching until players return to the dugout.
- Judgment calls are not to be questioned. One adult can come out of dugout, after requesting and getting time-out, to question the interpretation of a rule. Abuse of Umpires, by adults or players, will not be tolerated. This includes storming out of dugout. Abuse of players will not be tolerated. If a manager, coach, player, or parent is asked to leave the park, the game will not resume until he/she does so. The grievance committee shall also have the authority to review the incident and recommend discipline where appropriate. Get your team on and off field as quickly as possible between innings. Overly aggressive play will not be tolerated, i.e., catcher blocks plate prior to having ball. Runner deliberately knocks over defensive player, etc. If Player is hurt and requires medical treatment or is out for season, the manager must notify player agent and league safety officer.
- Managers must exchange batting orders prior to the game and inform each other while the game is in progress when substitutes go in and out, pitchers are changed, etc.
- No inning may start 1 hour and 45 minutes after the actual (not scheduled) game start time on weekends only. There is no time limit on weekday games.
- No on field warm-up is allowed after the official start time. Game starts on time or immediately after overtime game.
- Call-ups must play a minimum of two innings and bat for the entire game.
- No intentional walks are permitted.
- No player may wear any item of jewelry (except for medical alert)
- No head first sliding while advancing to a base (all divisions below juniors)
- No on-deck circle; on deck batter may not hold a bat. (all divisions below juniors)
- No metal cleats. (in all divisions below juniors)
- Only players from your team may stay in the dugout.
- In all divisions below juniors, all catchers must use a catcher’s mitt, long style chest protector, shin guards and throat guard attached to helmet. In juniors a long or short style chest protector must be worn. All male catchers must wear a cup.
- No adult may warm-up a pitcher. If your catcher is not ready have another player from your team warm-up the pitcher. That player must wear a helmet with throat protector.
- Proper batting helmets must be worn by all runners, player-coaches and the batter. Batting donuts may not be used.
- Manager may go to the mound to talk to the pitcher.
- Pitchers may not wear a wrist band, white or gray undershirt. Glove may not be multi-colored or distractive. No casts are permitted. YOUR COOPERATION IS NEEDED TO MAKE SURE THESE RULES ARE FULLY COMPLIED WITH.
FAIR OR FOUL BALL RULE
Home plate is in fair territory and is treated like the ground. There is nothing special about the pitcher's rubber. It is part of the ground. If a ball hits it and bounces foul in front of first or third it is a foul ball. Home plate and all the bases are in fair territory. Any batted ball that touches first, second or third is a fair ball. A ball that settles on home plate is a fair ball. A ball that hits home plate first is NOT a FOUL ball. Two different criteria apply to judging fair or foul balls:
1. Balls that FIRST touch the ground or a player in the OUTFIELD and
2. Balls that FIRST touch the ground or a player in the INFIELD A ball that first touches the ground, or a player or an umpire in the outfield, is judged to be fair or foul based upon the relationship between the ball and the line at the instant the ball touches the ground, player or umpire. The location of the player or umpire's body or feet have nothing to do with the judgment. It's where the ball is in relation to the ground. The outfield is fair and foul territory beyond first or third base. A ball that first touches the ground in the infield (in fair or foul territory) before first or third base, is not judged to be fair or foul until it stops or is touched by a player or an umpire or bounds beyond first or third base, or touches first or third base, or passes over first or third base. If it hits the ground on the home plate side of first or third and passes over the base on its way to the outfield; it is a fair ball. It may first touch the ground in foul territory and it is still not judged fair or foul until it stops or is touched or goes beyond first or third base. Example: ball touches the ground behind home plate, does not touch the catcher and spins into fair ground and stops. This is a FAIR ball. A fair or foul ball shall be judged according to the relative position of the ball and the foul line, and not as to whether the fielder is on fair or foul territory at the time he touches the ball. The instant the ball is touched you draw an imaginary vertical line from the ball to the ground. If the imaginary line touches foul territory, it is a foul ball, if fair territory, it is a fair ball. The position of the fielder's feet or body is of no consequence. The ball may roll back and forth (within the infield) between fair and foul territory an unlimited number of times, and it is not declared fair or foul until it stops or is touched. Where the ball is when it is touched determines the judgment, not where the fielder is. The infield is both fair and foul territory within first and third base. A pitch that hits the batter's bat is a batted ball. It doesn't matter whether he was swinging at the pitch or ducking away from it. The ball is judged fair or foul based on what happens to it after it hits the bat, based on the previously stated explanations.
FOUL-TIP RULE MYTH
There is nothing foul about a foul-tip. If the ball nicks the bat and goes sharp and direct to the catcher's hand or glove and is caught, this is a foul-tip by definition. A foul-tip is a strike and the ball is alive. It is the same as a swing-and-miss. If the ball is not caught, it is a foul ball. If the nicked pitch first hits the catcher somewhere other than the hand or glove, it is not a foul-tip, it is a foul ball.
CHECK SWING RULE
"He broke his wrists", "The bat went past the front of the plate." Many people believe those two statements are written in the rules or are written as official interpretations of a strike. THEY ARE NOT. A strike by definition is "a pitch that is struck at by the batter and is missed." It is purely a judgment made by the umpire as to whether the batter "struck at" the pitch. Breaking the wrists or the bat moving beyond the front of the plate or the batter's body, are factors that the umpire may use to make the judgment. Factors is all they are; not definitions. It is not automatically a strike when a batter holds the bat over the plate preparing to bunt and does not pull it back when the pitch goes by. The same judgment applies. Did the batter "strike at" the pitch? It is not automatically a strike when a batter is ducking an inside pitch and he spins around and the bat crosses the plate. The umpire must judge if he was avoiding the pitch or striking at it.
OVER-RUNNING FIRST BASE RULE
To simplify this; a batter-runner who is advancing to first base after ball four is treated no different than one who has hit a fair ball except that he cannot be put out BEFORE reaching first base. The ball is live and the runner may advance beyond first at his own risk. The batter may not overrun down the foul-line in Pro ball. He may in LL, he may not in FED. The batter-runner in any case; hit or walk, is NOT REQUIRED to turn to the right when returning to first base. The runner is liable to be put out when tagged IF IN THE UMPIRE'S JUDGMENT, the runner MADE AN ATTEMPT to advance to second base. Simply turning to the left into fair territory is NOT automatically an attempt. If he reaches the base safely and stops on the base and then steps off the base, he is out when tagged. You are allowed to overrun the base if your momentum takes you down the foul line past the base. Reaching the base without the need to overrun down the foul line and then stepping off, puts you in jeopardy of being tagged out. Over-running means to run directly down the foul line. This is allowed on a walk or a hit in LL and most OBR programs. It is not allowed in FED nor in Pro baseball. If the runner on a walk or a hit turns left AND in the umpire's judgment, makes an attempt to advance, the runner is liable to be put out.
THROWING THE BAT RULE
Young players quite often let go of the bat during or after a swing and sometimes hit another player. There is no rule that covers this situation. It is a safety issue and may be handled under the authority of rule 9.01(c) which gives the umpire authority to rule on anything not specifically covered in the rules. Quite often umpires call the batter out for doing this. Sometimes it is after a warning and sometimes without. This is not correct. The defense hasn't earned an out. The batter should be called out, only if the throwing of the bat interfered with an attempted play by the defense. The Official Little League policy that was given from Western Region is: After the first occurrence, inform the player and the manager that if this or any other player lets go of the bat again, he will be removed from the game. He may remain on the bench, he just can't play anymore in that game.
PITCH HITS THE BAT WITH NO SWING RULE
Anytime a pitch hits the bat, it is a batted ball, whether the batter was intentionally swinging or not. Even if he is ducking a pitch. If the ball hits the bat it is a batted ball. If the ball goes fair the batter better run to first. If it goes foul, it is a foul ball.
PITCH HITS THE GROUND RULE A PITCH
Is a ball delivered to the batter by the pitcher. Nowhere does it say anything about how it was delivered. A pitcher can roll the ball on the ground or throw it straight up in the air. If it travels across the foul lines, it is a pitch. Any rule that makes any statement about a pitch is referring to this definition. Therefore, if a pitch touches the ground before reaching the plate, it is by definition a pitch. The batter may hit it, and the hit is legal. If he is touched by it and was trying to avoid it, he is awarded first base. If he swings and misses it, it is a strike. The only thing a pitch that touches the ground can never be; is a CALLED strike or a caught third strike. Both of these must be in-flight pitches.
WEARING A BATTING GLOVE RULE
For Little League, the pitcher may wear a glove underneath his glove, provided it is the same color as the baseball glove.
FORCE PLAY RULE
A run scores when a runner touches home plate before the third out is made, EXCEPT that no run can score when the third out is the result of a force play, or when the batter is put out before touching first base. The batter being put out before he touches first is NOT a force out. It is just an out, but, if it is the third out, no runs can score. Many people believe that a FORCE OUT is any play where you can put out a runner simply by touching a base. This is NOT correct. Many people think that when you tag the runner instead of stepping on the base that the runner was forced to; that this is not a force-play. This is also NOT correct A FORCE PLAY is in effect anytime a runner is forced to leave his base because the batter became a runner. It doesn't matter how the runner is put out; a tag, an appeal or stepping on the base; in all three cases the out is a FORCE PLAY. Whenever the batter is put out in any manner, all forces are removed. There are three types of plays where touching the base is all that is required. 1. 1. When a runner must advance because the batter became a runner. (This is always a FORCE play) 2. 2. When an appeal is made that a runner missed a base while advancing or retreating. (This could be a FORCE PLAY if the base being appealed is one to which the runner was forced to advance. Otherwise it is not. 3. 3. When an appeal is made that a runner did not retouch (tag-up) after a fly ball was caught. (This is NEVER A FORCE PLAY) A FORCE PLAY is a play in which a runner legally loses his right to occupy a base by reason of the batter becoming a runner. This means anytime a batter is put out before reaching first base ALL forces are off. If a following runner who was forced to advance is put out, the force on the preceding runner is removed. Confusion regarding this play is removed by remembering that frequently the "force" situation is removed during the play. Example: Man on first, one out, ball hit sharply to first baseman who touches the bag and the batter-runner is out. The force is removed at that moment and the runner advancing to second must be tagged. If there had been a runner on third or second, and either of these runners scored before the tag-out at second, the run counts. Had the first baseman thrown to second and the ball then been returned to first, the play at second was a force out, making two outs, and the return throw to first ahead of the runner would have made three outs. In that case, no run would score because the batter made the third out before reaching first. Example: NOT a force out. One out. Runner on first and third. Batter flies out. Two out. (All forces are now removed) The runner on third tags up and scores. Runner on first tries to retouch before the throw from the fielder reaches the first baseman, but does not get back in time and is out. Three outs. If, in the umpire's judgment, the runner from third touched home before the ball was held at first base, the run
counts. The above two paragraphs are from the rule book. In the example above, you must understand that the batter was out on the catch. That removed any force play by definition of force play. The attempt by R1 to return to first after the catch is NOT a force play. It is an appeal play and for scoring purposes a TIME play. People frequently make the mistake of saying he is forced to tag up, thereby thinking it is a force play. The proper statement is; he must retouch. But, any play on the attempt to retouch is NOT a force play, because the batter has been put out.
RUNNER HIT BY BATTED BALL RULE
If a runner is hit by a fair batted ball while he is on fair territory, he is out and no judgment of intent is required unless he is hit by a deflected ball, or the ball has already passed all infielders, in which case the umpire must decide if he intended to be hit to interfere, obstruct, impede, hinder or confuse the defense. A runner must avoid a fielder attempting to field a BATTED BALL. If he does not he is guilty. He may run out of the baseline, if necessary, if the fielder is fielding a batted ball. This is a fairly easy call. Rule 7.09(L) and 7.08(b). The fielder's protection begins the moment the ball is hit. That protection continues as he completes his initial play. His protection ends if he misplays the batted ball and has to move to recover it. Contact with the fielder is not necessary for interference to be called. The runner is out when hit by a fair batted ball before it passes an infielder. (Rule 5.09(f) and 7.08(f)). If it passes one infielder and another fielder who is on the outfield side of the basepath had a possible play on the ball, the runner could still be called out. This is a judgment by the umpire. If a runner is hit by a FAIR batted ball while he is in FAIR territory he is out with the above exceptions. This includes while he is standing on a base. The bases are in FAIR territory. If he is hit in fair territory, while on the base, before the ball has passed an infielder, he is out, except if he is hit by an infield-fly. If he is hit by a fair batted ball while he is in foul territory he is not out unless he intentionally interferes with the ball or a play. When a runner is called out for being hit by a fair batted ball, the ball is immediately dead and the batter gets first base. All other runners remain at the base they held at the time of the pitch, unless forced to advance by the batter being awarded first base.
LEGAL BASE TAG RULE
When a fielder tags a base to put a runner out on a force or appeal, he may touch the base with ANY part of his body. If he has the ball in his throwing hand he may touch the base with his glove, foot, knee, elbow, hair, nose, tongue or ANY part of his body. To put out a runner while the runner is not on a base, the runner must be tagged with the ball as stated below. Rule 2.00 TAG - A TAG is the action of a fielder in touching a base with his body while holding the ball
securely and firmly in his hand or glove; or touching a runner with the ball, or with his hand or glove holding the ball, while holding the ball securely and firmly in his hand or glove.
INFIELD FLY RULE
The only difference between an infield fly and any other fly is that the batter is out when it is declared, and the ball does not have to be caught. Because the batter is declared out the runners are no longer forced to run, but they may run if they wish, at the risk of being put out. If the ball is caught they must tag-up before running, the same as on any fly ball. If the ball is not caught they may run without tagging up, the same as on any fly ball. If a fly ball first lands untouched on foul ground before first or third base and bounces untouched into fair territory, it is an infield fly because it is now a fair ball and the batter is out. If the fly ball first lands untouched in fair territory before first or third and bounces untouched into foul territory, it is just a foul ball. The Infield Fly is a judgment by the umpire that the ball could be caught with ORDINARY EFFORT by a player who was stationed in the infield at the time of the pitch. It is not automatic just because it's a pop-up in the infield. Ordinary effort is a judgment, but it usually means that the fielder did not have to sprint for the ball or make a catch on a fast run. It means he is underneath the ball and relatively motionless. The ball could be caught in the outfield and still be an infield-fly; if the fielder got under it and was relatively still. An outfielder could catch the ball and it is still an infield-fly; if an infielder could just as easily have caught the ball.
THERE IS NO "MUST SLIDE" RULE!!!
Any runner is out when – (a) (3) the runner does not slide OR attempt to get around a fielder who HAS THE BALL and is waiting to make the tag. The key phrases here are: "or attempt to get around" and "has the ball waiting to make the tag." The runner may slide or attempt to get around the fielder. He does not have to slide. Plus, unless the fielder has the ball, the runner doesn't have to do either. The purpose of the rule is to prohibit the runner from deliberately crashing into a defender who has the ball, for the sole purpose of knocking the ball loose, because the runner knows he is going to be out otherwise. The fielder should not be in the base path without possession of the ball. If he is it is obstruction. Anytime a runner deliberately and maliciously crashes into a fielder he should be ejected for unsportsmanlike conduct. However, if a close play occurs and the runner does not slide and makes incidental contact with the defender before he has the ball, no call should be made. If the defender has
the ball, the umpire should judge as to whether the runner made an attempt to get around the fielder. If he did, he should not be called out simply because he did not slide or made contact. In attempting to get around a fielder who has the ball waiting to make the tag, the runner must not run more than 3 feet to either side of a line that goes between bases. If he does, he is out for violation of rule 7.08 (a) (1) If the defender does not have possession of the ball, and a collision occurs as he steps into the path of the runner as he attempts to catch a thrown ball, there is no penalty, unless the umpire judges the collision to be deliberate and malicious.
COLLISIONS VS INTERFERENCE REFERENCE
The runner has a right to an unobstructed path while running the bases. The fielder has a right to make a play without interference. The runner has the right to the base path except when a fielder is attempting to field a BATTED BALL or has possession of the ball. Sometimes when the runner and fielder collide, no penalty should be applied. The umpire must judge whether someone's rights were violated. This applies mainly to plays where the throw and the runner are arriving at the same time. There is no such thing as a must slide rule. When a runner collides with a fielder attempting to field a batted ball, he should be called out in almost all cases. If the runner collides with a fielder attempting to catch a throw, the umpire must first decide if the collision was intentional, then decide if the act interfered with, impeded, hindered or confused the fielder. If the runner is legally in the base path and simply running the bases when a collision occurs, he is not out. If he deviates from his path and/or intentionally interferes, or makes malicious contact, he is out. In sliding to a base he must be able to reach out and touch the base with his hand. If he slides into a fielder while more than an arms length from the base it is interference if the fielder is attempting a play. If a runner goes into a base standing up AND this act hindered the fielder in an attempt to make a play, it is interference. This hinderance would have to be by contacting the fielder while in the act of throwing or attempting to throw. If the fielder makes no attempt to throw simply because the runner is in the base line standing up; this is NOT interference. If he does not slide, he must not touch the fielder while he is attempting a play. If the runner has already been put out before he interferes, then the ball is dead and the runner being played upon is also out. The "must slide" rule is a myth. Only when the fielder has possession of the ball, is the runner required to make a choice of actions. The runner has two choices, slide OR attempt to get around the fielder. He is not required to slide only. If the throw is almost to the fielder and a collision occurs; it is not interference or obstruction. It is a collision and neither player is penalized. However, intentional, malicious contact is never allowed. If the runner does it, call him out and eject him. If the fielder does it, award the base to the runner and eject the fielder. Rule 7.09 is the main rule that covers interference. Rule 2.00 Interference and 2.00 Obstruction. Rule 7.08(b).
Obstruction is called when the defense hinders the runners ability to run the bases. There are two different applications of the rule. One causes an immediate dead ball and the other is delayed dead. If a play is being made on a runner who is obstructed, the ball is immediately dead. If no play is being made the ball is delayed dead. A play for purposes of this rule is when the ball is in-flight heading toward the base the runner is heading, an attempted tag, or when the runner is caught in a run-down. The rule book definition is: "OBSTRUCTION is the act of a fielder who, while not in possession of the ball and not in the act of fielding the ball, impedes the progress of any runner. If a fielder is about to receive a thrown ball and if the ball is in flight directly toward and near enough to the fielder so he must occupy his position to receive the ball he may be considered "in the act of fielding a ball." It is entirely up to the judgment of the umpire as to whether a fielder is in the act of fielding a ball. After a fielder has made an attempt to field a ball and missed, he can no longer be in the "act of fielding" the ball. For example: an infielder dives at a ground ball and the ball passes him and he continues to lie on the ground and delays the progress of the runner, he very likely has obstructed the runner." A fake tag is considered obstruction. The fielder may stand in the base path without the ball, IF, the throw is almost to him and he needs to be there to catch the ball. "Almost to him" is a judgment by the umpire. Some say that when a throw is over the infield grass and heading toward the fielder; the fielder is "in the act of fielding" and may stand where he needs to, to catch the ball. However, he may not actually block the base until he has possession of the ball. Until he has possession of the ball he must give the runner some way to get to the base. Obstruction can NEVER be called on a fielder for blocking a base; when he has possession of the ball. As with interference, obstruction is also a tough judgment call. Contact between the runner and fielder is not necessary to meet the definition. If a runner must slow down or alter his path to avoid a fielder who is not in possession of the ball and not in the act of fielding, he has been obstructed. If no play is being made on the runner at the time he is obstructed, the play continues. The tough part comes when the play stops. The umpire will award the runner the base to which the umpire believes he would have reached had he not been obstructed. For example: the batter hits a ball in the gap for what looks like an easy double. No play is being made on him. As he rounds first the fielder is in his path and they collide. The batter stops at first. The umpire will award the runner second base if he believes the runner would have made it there had he not been obstructed. It does not matter where the obstruction occurs. If a runner is obstructed at first base and the umpire believes he could have made it to third base, he will be awarded third. The umpire must be the judge. If, in the umpire's judgment, a runner is slowed down by one step at first and then is thrown out by five steps at third, the out should stand.
An immediate dead ball obstruction is called when obstruction occurs while a play is being made on the runner. For example: a runner on first is attempting to reach third on a hit. He is obstructed by a fielder between second and third as the throw from the outfield is heading toward third. This is a play on the runner. The umpire should call "time" when the obstruction occurs and award the runner third base. Another example is a run-down play. It does not matter which way the runner is heading. If he is obstructed while being played upon in a run-down, he is awarded at least one base beyond the last base he held. If a runner is obstructed attempting to get back to first on a pick-off play, the ball is dead and he is awarded second. If a runner is awarded bases due to obstruction; runners ahead of him are forced to the next base. However, trailing runners are not always given another base when obstruction awards a lead runner another base. Rule 7.06 covers obstruction. 7.06(a) is when a play is being made and 7.06(b) is when there is no play being made.
Rule 2.00, 6.05(k, m), 6.06(c), 7.08(b, f), 7.09, 7.11 The following topic is not a particular play. It is a general subject. After 18 years of umpiring and 8 years of training umpires; I'm convinced that interference is the toughest call to make, the most misunderstood and the cause of the most disputes. The email I have received has confirmed that view. I hope to clear up a few misconceptions here. Don't be anxious to call interference. You can't have interference unless a play is being made and someone hindered the play. Following is a list of critical items relating to interference. INTERFERENCE is an act by the team at bat (notice it says "TEAM") which interferes with, obstructs, impedes, hinders or confuses any fielder attempting to make a play. Note the "make a play" phrase. There are instances where the runner or batter are given some latitude. A runner is not out when hit by a deflected batted ball, unless the umpire judges the runner intentionally was hit to hinder a play or another fielder had a play on the ball. A runner is not out for being hit with a thrown ball unless the act was intentional. The batter is not expected to evaporate while in the batter's box. If he could not reasonably avoid a play because he just swung or ducked a pitch, he is safe. He can be called for interference while inside the batter's box.
1. 1. There are no "safety zones" on the field. See rule 7.11 which states that the offense must vacate all space necessary for a fielder to make a play. You cannot have interference unless somebody is making a play. A play is a throw, attempted throw, or attempted tag of a runner or of a base for a force out. The batter's box, the coach's box, the running lane, the dugout and the base path are not automatic safety zones. An offensive team member MAY be called out for interference in some situations while occupying any of these spaces. The offensive team is NEVER allowed to interfere with the defensive team's ability to make a play. In most instances the umpire is required to make a judgment. Sometimes judgment of intent is required. Sometimes an act is clearly defined by the rules and no judgment is necessary.
2. 2. The ball is dead immediately in most cases. There are some exceptions. If the umpire or the batter interfere with the catcher attempting to make a throw to retire a runner, the ball is delayed dead. If the runner is put out, the interference is ignored. The ball becomes dead when the catcher's throw is caught or goes through the intended destination.
3. 3. Members of the offense must vacate any space necessary to allow the defensive player to make a play. This includes the batter's box, the coach's box, the dugout and the base path on a batted ball. The fielder's protection begins the moment the ball is hit. That protection continues as he completes his initial play. His protection ends if he misplays the batted ball and has to move to recover it. Contact with the fielder is not necessary for interference to be called.
1. BATTER's BOX - The batter MAY be charged with interference even though he is within the batter's box. This is a judgment call. In most cases he is given the benefit of doubt. However, if the ump judges that he intentionally interfered with a play or did not try to avoid interfering when he could have, he can be called out even though he is in the box. The batter is protected from an interference call for a short period of time. Once he has had time to react to what is happening in or near the box; he is no longer protected and must vacate the box if necessary for the catcher to make a play. He IS considered safe when he is within the box when touched by his own batted ball. He is considered to be in the box if one foot is touching the ground within the box when he is touched. Rule 6.06(c)
2. COACH's BOX - The coach's box must be vacated if a player needs that space to make a play. If the coach interferes with a player attempting to catch a foul-fly in the coach's box, the batter is out and the ball is dead. No runners may advance or score.
3. RUNNING LANE - A runner is not free from interference while in the lane, nor automatically guilty when out of the lane. If he is out of the lane he is in serious jeopardy of being called for interference, but it is not automatic. The rule states that he is out when out of the lane AND causes interference. If he is in the lane he could still cause interference, but it would have to be something obviously intentional (like grabbing the fielder's arm or glove, or deliberately touching a thrown ball). If the catcher does not make a throw because the runner is outside the lane; this is not interference. Interference with a thrown ball must be intentional. Like, deliberately making contact with it. Or in this case if the runner is hit by the throw while outside the lane and he had been outside the lane during his entire trek to first base. He is protected at the last step when he must move out of the lane to touch the base, if he was in the lane to begin with. If he is out of the lane the entire distance and is hit in the last step, interference probably should be called. This is a judgment call. Rule 6.05(k)
4. DUGOUT - Unless local ground rules define the dugout as a dead ball area, a player may enter the dugout to make a catch. If it's his own dugout, he can be held and prevented from falling by his own teammates, while attempting the catch. If he makes a catch and his momentum takes him into the dugout, the ball is live and he can make another play. If he falls down after a catch, or
drops the ball after a catch, in an attempt to make a throw, the ball is dead and all runners are awarded one base from the time of the pitch. In Little League rules, all dugouts are deadball areas.
5. BASE PATH - The base path belongs to the runner EXCEPT when a fielder is in the path attempting to field a batted ball or when a fielder is in the path and in possession of the ball. After a runner has been put out (typically on a force play at second) he has NO rights to the base path. If R1 is put out at second by a long distance, he must duck or get out of the path. If he is hit with the throw while in the path, or makes contact with the fielder who is in the act of throwing, while on his feet, he is guilty. Since he is already out, the runner being played upon is called out. Rule 7.08(b), 7.09(L) APPEALS RULE If time has NOT been called by the umpire an appeal may be made by the defense in any of the following ways;
1. 1. by touching the runner whom they believe committed a base running infraction (missed base or left before catch);
2. 2. or by touching the base they believe was missed while the runner was advancing;
3. 3. or by touching the original base that a runner left before a fly ball was caught. In all cases a verbal appeal must be made to the umpire or an act that is unmistakably an appeal. Accidentally touching a base that was missed is not an appeal. A throw to a base to catch a runner who has not retouched is unmistakably an appeal. Appeals must be made before the next pitch or play. If time has been called (or the ball is dead for any other reason. HR or foul ball etc.) and the defense makes an appeal, the umpire should say "put the ball in play and appeal again." Since no runner may advance or be put out while the ball is dead, this is not a play and the defense has not lost their right to appeal after the ball is put in play. The appeal itself is not a play. A fake throw to hold a runner is not a play. A balk committed during an appeal is a play. Plays that occur during continuous action after an infraction do not cancel the defenses right to appeal. The defense loses their right to appeal when any of the following actions occur:
1. 1. The throw to a base made in an appeal attempt goes into dead ball territory.
2. 2. A balk is committed before or as part of an appeal attempt.
3. 3. A pitch is made to the batter.
4. 4. A play is made that is not part of continuous action. Calling time prior to making an appeal does not cause the defense to lose their right to appeal. The ball must be put back in play by the pitcher stepping on the rubber with the ball and the umpire stating "Play." Then the appeal may be made.