Ask the Ump!

THROWN EQUIPMENT

QUESTION: In high school, baseball and softball, after hitting a single to outfield, batter releases bat which contacts catcher or umpire. Is batter declared out? Is batter restricted to bench but not called out?
ANSWER: Umpire must judge if action was intentional or unintentional. If action was deemed deliberate, batter-runner would be ejected. A substitute runner at first base will replace ejected player. If bat release was considered unintentional a warning will be issued to head coach of offending team. Subsequent offender on that team will be ejected (BB- Rule 3, Sec. 3, Art. 1, c; SB- Rule 3, Sec. 6, Art. 3).
QUESTION: Runner on first base; one out; wild pitch gets away from catcher who throws glove which contacts ball preventing it from going into dugout. Legal action? Is this a three, two or one base award for detached equipment?
ANSWER: In baseball, this illegal action results in the runner gaining a two base award during delayed dead ball play (Rule 8, Sec. 3, Art. 3, c (1)). In softball, runner is awarded one base from time of pitch and runner may advance further at own risk (Rule 8, Sec. 4, Art. 3 (e)). There is no penalty if glove did not contact ball.