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5915 Views 30 Replies Latest reply: Apr 15, 2011 2:03 PM by warden1952 RSS 1 2 3 Previous Next
warden1952 Amateur 12 posts since
May 20, 2008
Currently Being Moderated

Apr 11, 2011 9:24 AM

Bunt--strike or not.

We are having coaches on 12 yr. old teams telling players to merely square around to bunt but just stand there and make no motion or attempt to bunt the pitch. Their reasoning is that the "squaring around to bunt will cause the pitcher to throw 4 balls and and the batter will soon be on 1st. Some coaches are saying that the mere bunt stance is a strike, particularly if the bat is held over the front of the plate. Other coaches are saying that the player has to "make an offer" to bunt/hit the pitch before it can be called a strike. Any feedback will be appreciated.

  • STL__Ump Pro 133 posts since
    May 2, 2001
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Apr 11, 2011 10:29 AM (in response to warden1952)
    Re: Bunt--strike or not.

    Hmmm... well if a player squares as if to bunt and he puts his bat out over the plate and it's still there when the ball crosses the plate then, to me, I think I'd be ringing up a strike.

  • joes87 Expert 46 posts since
    Nov 24, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Apr 11, 2011 10:40 AM (in response to STL__Ump)
    Re: Bunt--strike or not.

    Beleive it or not this is called in different ways by different  umps.  Some umps consider just placing the bat out and across the plate  enough of an "offering" that if the bat is not pulled back they have a  strike. Out in our area (Chicago - West Suburbs) most umps tend to call  it like this (which I beleive is the correct way):

     

     

    Batter squares to Bunt, does not move the bat, and the ball is in the strike zone - Strike

    Batter squares to Bunt, does not move the bat at all, and the ball is outside the strike zone - ball

    Batter squares to Bunt, moves the bat any way but pulling it back, and the ball is outside the strike zone - strike

     

    Not sure if  your playing LL or another league but accroding to LL guidelines on this it is not a strike if the bat is not moved and the ball is outside the strike zone.

     

    One of the guys who hangs around this board put this up sometime ago.  It explains the rule pretty well...

     

    http://www.infosports.com/baseball/arch/2633.htm

  • Yuri Jeckted Rookie 6 posts since
    May 25, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. Apr 11, 2011 10:47 AM (in response to STL__Ump)
    Re: Bunt--strike or not.

    From the definition of bunt in the LL baseball rule book:

     

    A BUNT is a batted ball not swung at, but intentionally met with the bat and tapped slowly. The mere holding of the
    bat in the strike zone is not an attempted bunt.

    INSTRUCTOR COMMENTS:
    ⇒ When the batter squares around in a “bunt position”, there is no need for the batter to pull the bat back. If the pitched ball is out of
    the strike zone, it shall be called a “ball”.

     

    Of course, if the ball passes through the strike zone, it's still a strike.

     

    And the rule for LL softball is different:

     

    BUNT is a batted ball not swung at but intentionally met with the bat and tapped slowly. Holding the bat in the strike zone is considered an attempted bunt. In order to take a pitch, the batter must withdraw the bat backwards away from the ball.

  • joes87 Expert 46 posts since
    Nov 24, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    7. Apr 11, 2011 10:51 AM (in response to warden1952)
    Re: Bunt--strike or not.

    BTW, I have always taught my kids to pull the bat back if they are not going to make an attempt/offering at the ball.  That leaves less room for interpretationon the umps part.

  • Coach_Lou Amateur 18 posts since
    May 26, 2004
    Currently Being Moderated
    8. Apr 11, 2011 10:54 AM (in response to warden1952)
    Re: Bunt--strike or not.

    Here is what my Little League 2008 Rules Instruction Manual (RIM) states:

     

    • "A BUNT is a batted ball not swung at, but intentionally met with the bat and tapped slowly. The mere holding of the bat in the strike zone is not an attempted bunt. (Tee Ball: Bunts are not permitted. Batters are not permitted to take a half-swing. If the umpire feels the batter is taking a half-swing, the batter may be called back to swing again.)
    • “The Right Call” Casebook -- Comment: The key words are “intentionally met with the bat.” Comment: If no attempt is made to make contact with a ball outside the strike zone while in the bunting stance, it should be called a ball. An effort must be made to intentionally meet the ball with the bat.

    • INSTRUCTOR COMMENTS:
      When the batter squares around in a “bunt position”, there is no need for the batter to pull the bat back. If the pitched ball is out of the strike zone, it shall be called a “ball”"

     

    (emphasis mine)

     

    So the bunting stance, like the batting stance, is not an automatic strike. That said, the slightest quiver of the bat towards the ball is enough to make it a strike...so I'd coach my kids to pull the bat back. I'd also coach my pitcher to throw strikes.

  • joes87 Expert 46 posts since
    Nov 24, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    9. Apr 11, 2011 11:17 AM (in response to warden1952)
    Re: Bunt--strike or not.

    "Their reasoning is that the "squaring around to bunt will cause the  pitcher to throw 4 balls and and the batter will soon be on 1st."

     

    BTW, bad advice.  In the next couple of years the kids will take it upon themselves to start throwing the ball high and in if they do this.  I wish coaches would think of what they are teaching kids and ramifications it has for the long term.  Once the kids hit 13-14u or so the pitching catches up to the hitting.   Batting averages will drop and a kid that was taught just to hold the bat there will either receive 3 quick strikes on the outside low corner of the plate or will be subject to having to duck quickly out of the batters box.

  • Rich_Ives Legend 1,283 posts since
    May 25, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    10. Apr 11, 2011 10:59 AM (in response to warden1952)
    Re: Bunt--strike or not.

    LL and Dixie are both OBR based.

     

    The LL ruling is the OBR ruling so it should be the Dixie ruling.

     

    The key is that there must be an attempt to deliberately meet the ball.  To do that one must try to put the bat into the path of the ball.  Just standing there in a bunt stance is no diofferent than just standing there in a "normal" stance.  No attempt, it's not a swinging strike.

  • laguna_brewers Pro 79 posts since
    Feb 24, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    11. Apr 11, 2011 11:02 AM (in response to warden1952)
    Re: Bunt--strike or not.

    Their reasoning is that the "squaring around to bunt will cause the  pitcher to throw 4 balls and and the batter will soon be on 1st.

     

    Now, there is some quality Coaching on display right there....

     

    As far as the game goes, that sounds like it would make for a rather boring game (save for the part when these "kids" make it up to the next level and these learned tactics result in an up-and-in heater to the ribs.......).  But I digress.

     

    I was going to point you to the relevant parts of the Rulebook (Chapter 2) dealing with the definitions that would settle this, but a later post had a link to an older reply by Rich that covers it very nicely.

     

    Just holding the bat out there does not automatically result in a strike.  If the ball comes in within the strike-zone, ring it up whether an attempt was made or not.  If the ball comes in outside the strike-zone, rule on the actions of the batter ; an attempt = strike, no attempt = no strike.

  • STL__Ump Pro 133 posts since
    May 2, 2001
    Currently Being Moderated
    12. Apr 11, 2011 11:05 AM (in response to joes87)
    Re: Bunt--strike or not.

    Judgement call as to whether he offered or not.  And if I'm doing the plate and he sticks a bat out there... STTTTTEEEERRRRIIIKKKEEEE.

    (I do OBR)

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