Ask the Ump!


QUESTION: In high school, baseball and softball, batter swings at pitch which hits batter’s hands and ball rolls into fair territory. Defensive coach wants strike and dead ball called. Offensive coach claims batter gains first base due to hit by pitch. What is the call?

ANSWER: The initial action of the batter swinging at pitch takes precedence; hence, strike is called and ball is ruled dead. Despite the ball rolling fair, hands are not considered part of the bat. If it was the third strike, the batter would be ruled out and ball remains dead (BB- Rule 5, Sec. 1, Art. 1,a; Rule 7, Sec. 2, Art. 1,b; SB- Rule 5-1-1,a(note); Rule 7-2-1,g).

QUESTION: In both sports, the batter has arms extended over home plate area and pitch contacts the batter who does not swing at pitch. Is batter awarded first base due to being hit by pitch? Is batter called out for interfering with pitch? Is the pitch called a dead ball strike?

ANSWER: In baseball, the batter allowed himself to be hit by a pitch over the plate area; hence, dead ball, and pitch is called strike or ball based on the zone. Batter remains at bat with count unless it was strike three (dead ball) or ball four (dead ball). (BB- Rule 7, Sec. 3, Art. 4) (SB- if no attempt is made to avoid being hit, batter would not be awarded first base unless it was ball four. (SB- Rule 7-1-2,c).

Anyone who has a question about high school rules can submit it to Mike Lynch at (