USA Softball News July 2019 Plays and ...

July 2019 Plays and Clarifications

July 11, 2019, 10:06 a.m. (ET)

July Plays and Clarifications

Junior Olympic Pool Play Courtesy Runner

Because we have the rule in Junior Olympic Pool Play that anyone can be a courtesy runner the question has come up if the courtesy runner is tied to the pitcher and or catcher. This part of our rule has not changed. Once you put a courtesy runner in for the pitcher or catcher that person is tied to the pitcher or catcher position just like our regular courtesy runner rule. 

Time Limit Rule

Question:In 14-Under Junior Olympic Play and you are in the 5th inning and the visiting team is ahead 4-0.  The home team is at bat and the timer goes off.  The home team does not score any runs. Does the game end or do we play the 6th inning? Additionally, if the game is tied, when the timer goes off, do we finish the inning and play one additional inning and then go to the tie breaker rule or do we finish the inning and go immediately to the tie breaker rule

Answer: The time limit rule says you play the 1 hour and 20 minutes finish the inning and one additional inning. When the timer went off you would now play one more inning. If after the one more inning the game was tied, you would then go to the tie breaker rule. If you go into the 8thinning before the time limit expires, then you go into the tie breaker in the 8thinning. 

Play Question

Question:In the definitions section of the USA rule book. A force out is described as a runner that is forced to the next base by another runner. My question is. The Batter-Runner isn’t forced to first base by another runner, so is an out recorded at first base when the ball beats the Batter-Runner still considered a “force” out?


Answer:Great Question, by our definition the play at first base is not a force out. We have always treated it like force out because our rules say if the ball beats the Batter-Runner the Batter-Runner is out. If the Batter-Runner beats the ball they are safe by rule. Even though the play does not meet the definition of a force out we treat it similar to a force out. 


Play:R1 on 3B, R2 on 2B, R3 on 1B two outs and B6 at bat. B6 hits a line drive that strikes R1 while still on 3B. R1 collapses in pain as the ball fall into fair territory.  


Ruling:If the ball struck the R1 on 3B while over fair territory the ball is now fair. R1 would not be out since they are in contact with 3B and did not deliberately get hit by the ball. Rule 8, Section 8M, If the nearest defensive player is behind the runner the ball would be declared dead and the batter is awarded 1B and all runners forced will be advanced one base. If the closest defensive player is in front of the base the ball remains live.  Rule Supplement 44When the umpire sees the player is hurt and needs assistance, they can declare the ball dead immediately. They then would award any bases that would have been reached if dead ball not been called. Rule 4, Section 10


Mechanic Question


What is the correct mechanic for a foul tip?  Our umpire should rise and raise both hands and brush the fingers of the right hand over the left hand, chest high in front of the body. This should be followed with the strike signal and no verbal strike call. The signal should not change if it is the third strike. It should be the foul tip signal and a normal swinging strike signal. 


Why does USA Softball not give a no interference signal? We have always thought the best mechanic is to call what you see, not what you don’t see. We have always taught if you see interference a strong dead ball call with the hands in the air signifies you saw interference. If you make no call, it shows you did not have interference. Regretfully in a lot of cases regardless of the signal, coaches will still ask questions. Normally a good loud dead ball call and a strong dead ball signal will show the coach you saw it and you called it.  

  July 2019 Rule Clarifications and Plays - PDF

  July 2019 Rule Clarifications and Plays - Word Doc