USA Softball News May 2009 Plays and C...

May 2009 Plays and Clarifications

May 31, 2009, 12:29 p.m. (ET)


Two issues have come up that need to addressed:

1)Equipment malfunctions during ASA sanctioned events or ASA Championship play.

2)Non-Approved Bat listing on the ASA web page.

Umpires should note these issues and take appropriate action

Failed Equipment

The ASA Code defines an ASA Sanction Tournament as "a tournament approved by the ASA or a Local Association." Championship Play is defined as "a tournament or competition from which the winner or the winner and other selected teams may advance to higher levels of play of the Association."

Umpires should follow these guidelines when equipment failure occurs during an ASA Softball game:

1)Collect all parts of the failed piece of equipment.

a. Bats: secure all available parts (handle, barrel, end-caps, etc.)

b. Balls, Helmets, mask, etc (all available parts)

2)Get the owner's name, address, phone number, e-mail address

3)The defective equipment can be given to any ASA Representative, Umpire or Tournament Director for them to return to the ASA National Office or

4)Send the failed equipment to the ASA National Office.

a. Bats: secure all available parts (handle, barrel, end-caps, etc.)

b. Balls, Helmets, mask, etc (all available parts)

The ASA National Office will test or inspect the damaged equipement or have it inspected and tested by the manufacture.

ASA NON-Approved Bat List

We have received questions about approved and non-approved bats as well as the bat list on the ASA Webpage. I am posting an email from Kelly McKeown dated January 2009. the last line of the email reminds umpires that now we have only one list of bats to view. It is the Non-Approved bat list with an ASA approval stamp. Bats manufactured after 2000 must have a stamp to be legal. Umpires should check the bat for a certification stamp and then check the list. Please review this email for further assistance on the issue of non approved bats.

The ASA recently changed the non approved bat listings located at This was a recommendation by the ASA Equipment Testing and Certification Committee. The reasoning behind this was an attempt to make it easier for ASA leagues, tournament directors and umpires to clarify questions surrounding legal and/or illegal bats.

The original master list has been removed and replaced with two lists that separate bats that have been declared illegal that bear the 2000 mark and bats that bear both the 2000 and 2004 mark. This master list contained bats that were never intended to be certified by ASA that were made by bat manufacturers. the committee felt like this was confusing the issue and making it more complex than needed out in the field.

Bat manufacturers, against ASA's guidance, will continue making bats intended for HR derby's, outlaw leagues and other associations thus making it nearly impossible to continue listing every non-certified bat along with a photo. All of these new non ASA certified bats do not contain the ASA certification mark so the easy answer for umpires and league/tournament directors is as follows:

  • If a bat does not contain the ASA certification mark (either the 2000 or 2004 mark) it should not be allowed in ASA Championship Play unless in the sole discretion of the umpire was made prior to 2000.
  • AS always, the complete list of certified bats can be found in the certified equipment section of

    Heating and Cooling Equipment

    We have been getting many questions about what is legal and what is not when it comes to heating and cooling equipment. "Is it legal to keep a bat in heat sleeve during those cold nights in the spring time?" "Can I put my bat or softballs in a bucket of ice?" Our rule is very clear on this. Rule 3 Section 7 Note states: The characteristics of any approved equipment can not be changed. Examples would be icing, cooling, heating equipment. This rule is very clear and applies to bats and balls as defined in Rule 3.

    Umpire Uniform

    There is a question involving the issue of the plate umpire choosing to wear the hockey-style mask. The uniform code was changed last year allowing the hockey-style mask to be worn during fast pitch games. the design makes it difficult to wear a cap under the hockey-stule mask. Therefore, the decision was made to allow the hockey-style mask to be worn without a cap. Should an umpire chose to wear the hockey-styled mask a cap is not required

    Does the Run Count? R1 on 3B, R2 on 2B and R3 on 1B with two outs, B6 hits a shot into right centerfield. R1, R2 and R3 score before B6 is thrown out at 2B for the third out. F5 yells that R2 missed 3B and ask for a fourth-out appeal. The umpire rules R2 out on a fourth-out appeal and declares the force back into effect and no runs score.

    Ruling umpire’s ruling was incorrect, here’s why.

    The fourth-out appeal is correct because Rule 5, Section 5, C stipulates, “no run shall score if a “fourth out” is the result of an appeal of a base missed or left too soon on a runner who has scored.” Therefore R2 can be properly appealed and called out as the umpire ruled.

    However, the force out is incorrect. Rule 1, Definitions, Force Out: An out which may be made only when a runner loses the right to the base that the runner is occupying because the batter becomes a batter-runner, and before the batter-runner or trailing runner has been put out.” Also according to Rule 5 Section 5B [1] “No run shall score if the third out of the inning is the result of a batter-runner being called out prior to reaching first base or any other runner forced out due to the batter becoming a batter-runner. On an appeal play, the force out is determined when the appeal is made, not when the infraction occurred.” On this play the force would not be in Effect, R2 would be called out on the fourth out appeal and R1 would score.