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«COMMONLY OCCURRING ASA SOFTBALL RULES AND POINTS OF EMPHASIS 1. APPEAL PLAYS An appeal play is a one which the umpire may not make a call until a ...»

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COMMONLY OCCURRING ASA SOFTBALL RULES AND POINTS OF EMPHASIS

1. APPEAL PLAYS

An appeal play is a one which the umpire may not make a call until a player or manager brings it to the umpire's

attention. Examples are: a) a base runner missing a base or touching the white portion only of the double first base

when a play in being made on the batter-runner at first base; b) a base runner leaving a base before a caught fly is

touched; c) overrunning first base and attempting to run to second; and d) batting out of order.

In all games, once time has been granted, a dead ball appeal may be made. Once the ball has been returned to the infield and time has been called, any fielder (including the pitcher or catcher), with or without possession of the ball, may make a verbal appeal on a runner missing a base or leaving a base too soon. The plate umpire should acknowledge the appeal and the administering umpire then make a decision on the play. Base runners cannot leave their base during this period as the ball remains dead until the next pitch.

Live ball appeals are also allowed in both FP and SP. Remember, however, that throwing to a base while in contact with the pitcher's plate while the ball is alive constitutes an illegal pitch and an appeal can no longer be made.

2. BASE PATH The base path is three feet either side of a direct line from one base to another. The runner does not need to run in the base path unless a play is being made on him/her. In running the bases, a runner establishes the base path, i.e., batter-runner rounds first base on the way to second, the base path is on an arc. The ball remains in play if a base runner is called out for running outside the base path to avoid a tag.

3. BAT INFORMATION Bats used in the MSCR Adult Softball Program must either bear the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) approved 2000 certification mark, the 2004 certification mark or the new certification mark for 2013 and Beyond for Slow Pitch and the bat must also appear on the ASA approved softball bat list. The approved bat list can be viewed on the ASA website, www.asasoftball.com and is available at each MSCR softball diamond. This site also can be linked from the MSCR website, www.mscr.org. The ASA no longer publishes a comprehensive list of “banned bats”. A bat manufactured prior to 2000 will be allowed if, in the sole opinion and discretion of the umpire, it would comply with the ASA bat performance standards, if tested. The bat shall be marked "Official Softball" by the manufacturer or, in the judgment of the umpire, had the words "Official Softball" on it at one time.

The OFFICIAL BAT shall meet all the requirements of ASA Rule 3. Section 1. – the highlights of the rule are

summarized below:

The Official Bat shall be no more than 34 inches long nor exceed 38 ounces in weight. It shall be free of burs, dents, cracks, sharp edges and audible rattles and show no signs of excessive wear. The official bat shall not be more than

2.250 inches in diameter at its largest part. The official bat shall be smooth and round to 0.050 inches in diameter and must bear either the ASA 2000 Certification Mark, the ASA 2004 Certification Mark or the new 2013 ASA Softball certification mark for Slow Pitch and must not be listed on the ASA Non-Approved Bat List.

The safety knob will be permanently attached to the bat and may be covered with grip tape. It shall have a diameter of at least 1.6 inches with no sharp edges.

The bat handle will include a grip. The handle region of the bat must have a grip made of cork, grip tape or other synthetic material and must be permanently attached to the bat. No bare metal, wood or composite material may be exposed in the handle region. The grip shall not be less than 6 inches and not more than 15 inches. Any attachment such as a molded finger grip, flare cone, or choke up device must be attached with grip tape. Resin, pine tar or spray substances are permissible on the grip region only.

The End Cap is a cap placed at the barrel end of the bat. The end cap shall be permanently affixed to the bat to prevent alterations to the interior of the bat. It shall be affixed so that it cannot be deleted by anyone other than the manufacturer without damaging or destroying the end cap or barrel.

The official bat shall not be an Altered Bar. An ASA official bat’s characteristics shall remain fixed at the time of manufacture and may not be altered in any way other than specifically provided for in (Rule 3, Sec. 1) or as specifically approved by the ASA. Approved bats shall be considered altered if they are rolled, shaved, repainted, weighted or modified to change their characteristics from that produced by the manufacturer. Identifying the bat by means of laser marking, engraving, or painting the name of the player will not make the bat an altered bat.

4. BATTING OUT OF ORDER

If a batter bats out of order, this is an appeal play, which must be brought to the umpire's attention. If it is detected while the incorrect batter is at bat, the correct batter assumes the count and all plays made will stand. If it is detected after the incorrect batter has completed their turn at bat and before the next pitch (legal or illegal), the improper batter’s time at bat is negated, the batter who should have batted is out, any advance or score made because of the improper batter's advance is negated, runners not called out must return to the last base occupied at the time of the pitch, however runners put out on the play remain out. The next batter is the player whose name follows that of the player called out for failing to bat. If the error is discovered after the first pitch to the next batter, the turn at bat of the incorrect batter is legal, all runs scored and bases run are legal and the next batter shall be the one whose name follows that of the incorrect batter. No one is called out for failure to bat. No base runner shall be removed from a base to bat in his/her proper place. They merely miss their turn at bat with no penalty.





5. BATTING OUT OF THE BATTER'S BOX

The batter is out and the ball is dead if he/she hits the ball, fair or foul, while his/her entire foot is completely out of the box and touching the ground or is touching home plate at the time of contact. The size of the batter’s box is three feet wide by seven feet long, for both FP and SP play. The front line of the box is four feet in front of a line drawn to the center of home plate. The inside line of the batter's box is six inches from the edge of home plate. The lines of the batter's box are considered inside the box. In cases where there are not batter's lines evident, good judgement must be used and the benefit of any doubt must go to the batter. Note: Prior to the pitch, the batter must have both feet completely within the lines of the batter's box. The batter may touch the lines, but no part of the foot may be outside the lines prior to the pitch."

6. CATCH There is no rule, which states that a player must hold the ball for a specific number of seconds to be a valid catch. In establishing a valid catch, the fielder must hold the ball long enough to prove he/she has complete control of the ball and that the release of the ball is voluntary and intentional. It is not a catch if a fielder, immediately after he/she contacts the ball, collides with another player or fence or falls to the ground and drops the ball as a result of the collision or falling to the ground.

7. COLLISIONS - DELIBERATELY CRASHING INTO A FIELDER WITH THE BALL

When a defensive player has the ball, and the runner remains on his/her feet and deliberately crashes into the defensive player waiting to apply the tag, the runner is out, the ball is dead and all other runners must return to the last base touched at the time of the collision. Note: If the act is determined to be flagrant, the offender shall be ejected. In order to prevent a deliberate crash ruling, the runner can give up, slide, go around the defender, or return to the previous base touched. This rule will be strictly enforced in order to prevent injury and protect the defensive player who has possession of the ball.

Fielders should not block the base without possession of the ball(that is obstruction), they should stand to the side of the base, not in front of the base, catch the ball, then apply the tag.

If a defensive player is fielding a thrown ball and the flight of the ball draws the fielder into the path of the runner, this would not be a crash.

If the ball, runner and the defensive player all arrive at the same time and contact is made, the umpire should not invoke the crash rule or obstruction-this is merely incidental contact.

8. CONFERENCES A. Defensive - A charged defensive conference takes place when the defense requests a suspension of play for any reason, and a representative enters the playing field and confers with any defensive player. A team is allowed three conferences per seven innings. A playing manager on the field is not included in this rule. The team may take all three conferences in one inning or spread them out over a seven-inning game. Once the three conferences have been used, the pitcher must be removed for each additional charged conference. In the event of an extra inning game, there will be one conference allowed per extra inning. On the second conference in an extra inning game, the pitcher must be removed. If the manager informs the plate umpire prior to removing the pitcher from the pitching position, it is not a charged conference.

B. Offensive - An offensive "charged conference" occurs when the offensive team requests a suspension of play and is granted time by the umpire to allow a team representative (usually the manager) to confer with a batter, base runners or another team representative. Only one conference is allowed between the team representative (manager) and the batter, the base runner(s) or another offensive coach per inning. The umpire will not allow a second conference.

9. DEAD BALL AREA - IMAGINARY LINE

Dead ball or out of play area is usually an imaginary line straight out from the end of the backstop parallel to the foul lines.

A. Ball Carried Into Dead Ball Area - When a live ball is unintentionally carried by a fielder from playable territory into dead ball territory, the ball becomes dead and all base runners are awarded one (1) base from the last base touched at the time he/she entered dead ball territory. If in the judgment of the umpire this act is ruled to be intentional, the award will be two (2) bases.

B. Catching Ball in Dead Ball Area - When an imaginary line is used for the dead ball area, it is not a catch if either foot is entirely across the line on the ground when the catch is made. If one foot is on the ground inside the imaginary line, and/or touching the line, and the other is over the line but in the air (not touching the ground), the catch is good.

–  –  –

11. DOUBLE FIRST BASE A double first base is used at all levels of MSCR play.

A batted ball hitting the white portion is fair and a batted ball hitting the colored portion is foul.

Whenever a play (ball must be thrown to first base in an attempt to record an out) is being made on the batterrunner, the defense must use the white portion and the batter-runner must touch the colored portion. If a play is made at first base, but the ball is overthrown or the fielder is pulled off the base by an errant or missed throw, the batter-runner is allowed to use the white base if trying to advance to second base.

(Clar-Exception) On a play attempt on the batter-runner from the foul side of first base, or by an errant throw pulling the fielder off the base into foul ground, the batter-runner and the fielder can use either white or colored portions of the base.

On extra base hits or balls hit to the outfield when there is no play being made at the double base, the batterrunner may touch the white or colored portion. When tagging up on a fly ball, either the white or colored base may be used.

The batter-runner is allowed to legally return to either color base after he or she has touched or missed first base.

After returning to either portion of the base, an appeal cannot be made.

12. FAIR AND FOUL BALL Home plate and all bases are completely in fair territory.

A. Fly Ball - in determining fair or foul, the relationship of the ball when touched, to the foul line is the deciding factor. The placement of the fielder's feet(inside/outside the foul line) is not a consideration.

B. Batted Ball

1) A batted ball that first hits the ground before it reaches 1st or 3rd base is fair, if it settles in fair territory, is touched by a player while the ball is on or over fair ground, or if the ball passes over 1st or 3rd base, regardless of where the ball hits the ground after going over the base.

2) A batted ball that first hits the ground beyond 1st or 3rd base is fair or foul based on where it hits the ground that first time.

3) A batted ball that hits a player or umpire in fair territory and then goes into foul territory, is a fair ball.

 (Emphasis) - Foul Ball/Foul Tip – The reference to the “height of the batter’s head” as it relates to a Foul Ball and Foul Tip no longer applies. This change allows more opportunity for the catcher to obtain “outs” by catching foul batted balls the same as the first and third base person.

**Umpires need to judge whether the ball moves from the bat “sharply” and “directly” (the definition of a foul tip, which is a strike, and can be an out, if caught by the catcher, only on the 2nd strike in SP or the 3rd strike in FP), versus a ball that has a perceptible arc and/or if the catcher moves their glove to catch the ball after contact with the bat (which is a foul ball and an out, if caught, irregardless of the number of strikes on the batter at the time).

13. FAKE TAG A "FAKE TAG" occurs when a fielder without the ball deceives the runner by impeding their progress (i.e., causing them to slide, slow down, or stop running). The umpire will call "obstruction" and give a delayed dead ball signal.



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