QUESTION: In high school baseball only, with no runners on base, pitcher drops the ball during his delivery. Is this an automatic dead ball? Is this considered a “no pitch?”
ANSWER: If the dropped pitch crossed the foul line, it would be called a ball on the batter. If pitch stopped short of foul line, this is a no pitch situation. If runners were on base, balk would be called if pitch did not cross foul line. (BB- Rule 6, Sec. 1, Art. 4)
QUESTION: In high school softball only, with a runner on second base, pitcher begins her windup and ball slips out of hand during delivery. Umpire calls dead ball, no pitch. Correct call?
ANSWER: Incorrect rule application. Ball should remain live as runner may advance upon release (despite delivery drop); defense may also make a play on runner. Batter would receive a ball in the count. This is not an illegal pitch situation. If batter has an opportunity to hit the dropped pitch and swings at pitch, strike is called if there is no contact. Ball remains live. (SB- Rule 6-2-6,Effect./Pen.)
Anyone who has a question about high school rules can submit it to Mike Lynch at firstname.lastname@example.org.