Ask the Ump!

BALL FOUR / INTENTIONAL WALK

QUESTION: In high school, baseball and softball, after a ball four walk is awarded to the batter-runner, is the ball live or dead? If batter-runner removes helmet on way to first during walk, is batter called out?
ANSWER: After four pitches are declared balls by plate umpire, batter is awarded first base in this live ball play. If batter removes helmet during a live ball play, he / she is NOT called out but head coach receives a warning for safety infraction. For a subsequent violation in baseball, player shall be ejected; in softball, head coach and offender will be restricted to bench. (BB- Rule 1, Sec. 5, Art. 1, Pen. and Rule 2-4-2; SB- Rule 2, Sec. 65 and Rule 3-6-1, Pen.)
QUESTION: Are there intentional walks in baseball and softball? Is the batter automatically awarded first base during intentional walk or must pitches be thrown?
ANSWER: Baseball only, intentional walk may be given by defensive squad with request from coach or catcher before any pitch or during any count on batter. Pitches do not have to be thrown during this dead ball award. (BB- Rule 2, Sec. 4, Art. 3).
(Fast Pitch Softball). There is no intentional walk; pitches must be thrown to batter during live ball. (Slow Pitch Softball ). Intentional walks are permitted with request by catcher or coach with no pitches thrown during dead ball. (SB- Rule 2, Sec. 65, Art. 2).