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2462 Views 18 Replies Latest reply: Jul 25, 2011 2:32 PM by DougSloan RSS 1 2 Previous Next
DougSloan Amateur 15 posts since
Nov 25, 2008
Currently Being Moderated

Jul 21, 2011 10:28 AM

Ball or Foul Ball?

This is coming up a lot in our little league tournaments, 8U.

 

Scenario: A wild pitch is about to hit a batter. He ducks, but the ball hits the bat as he falls out of the way, with no intent to swing, and the ball goes foul. Umpires have been calling it a foul ball, instead of a ball. This seems wrong to me, as there was no intent to strike at the ball.

 

These games are usually under Little League Rules, but we can discuss under MLB Rules. Any thoughts? Thanks.

 

http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/downloads/y2011/Official_Baseball_Rules.pdf

 

Definitions:

 

"A BALL is a pitch which does not enter the strike zone in flight and is not struck at by the batter."

 

"A FOUL BALL is a batted ball that settles on foul territory between home and first base, or between home and third base, or that bounds past first or third base on or over foul territory, or that first falls on foul territory beyond first or third base, or that, while on or over foul territory, touches the person of an umpire or player, or any object foreign to the natural ground."

 

"A STRIKE is a legal pitch when so called by the umpire, which—

(a) Is struck at by the batter and is missed;

(b) Is not struck at, if any part of the ball passes through any part of the strike zone;

(c) Is fouled by the batter when he has less than two strikes;

(d) Is bunted foul;

(e) Touches the batter as he strikes at it;

(f) Touches the batter in flight in the strike zone; or

(g) Becomes a foul tip."

 

There are no definitions of "struck at" or "batted ball," though.

 

Seems to me that "struck at" requires an intent to make contact with the ball with the bat. Falling to the ground to avoid a wild pitch, where the ball accidentally hits the bat in the process, would not appear to involve intent to hit the ball, so it cannot be a foul ball.

 

Some interesting varations, though.

 

1. Same scenario, but the ball goes fair. It's a fair ball, and the batter could be put out?

 

2. Same scenario, and the ball hits the bat and goes directly into the catchers glove and is caught. Is it a foul tip, and therefore a strike?

 

3. Same scenario, but the batter steps completely out of the batter's box while trying to avoid the pitch. He's out? --

 

     "A batter is out for illegal action when—

     6.06 (a) He hits a ball with one or both feet on the ground entirely outside the batter’s box."

  • Kyle_ Legend 556 posts since
    May 25, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Jul 21, 2011 10:33 AM (in response to DougSloan)
    Re: Ball or Foul Ball?

    It is considered a batted ball.

     

    Foul.

  • Frank_B Legend 1,324 posts since
    May 30, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Jul 21, 2011 10:57 AM (in response to DougSloan)
    Re: Ball or Foul Ball?

    Not..... "under any scenario"------

     

    If a pitch hits any part of the batter's body first and then the bat...it's not a batted ball.

     

    But, before I am corrected, I assume you are talking about a pitch, thrown by a pitcher, hitting the batter's bat first, and going foul; absent any attempted swing by the batter.

     

    Frank!

  • Lou_B Community Moderator 1,319 posts since
    May 25, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. Jul 21, 2011 11:56 AM (in response to DougSloan)
    Re: Ball or Foul Ball?

    Foul Ball - as the others have said.

     

    Batters need to be taught to drop the bat (so this type of thing doesn't happen).

    Bad enough when the ball hits the bat and goes foul (foul ball), bit it's even worse is when the ball hits the bat and goes fair, in which case the batter is almost always thrown out at 1st for a out !

  • Mike_CVUA Legend 593 posts since
    May 25, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    6. Jul 21, 2011 1:19 PM (in response to DougSloan)
    Re: Ball or Foul Ball?

    I actually has a foul tip call on such a play!  Heads up move by F2 to be on the ball!

     

    Mike CVUA

  • Phillieball Pro 99 posts since
    Mar 23, 2001
    Currently Being Moderated
    7. Jul 21, 2011 3:09 PM (in response to DougSloan)
    Re: Ball or Foul Ball?

    Just curious:  If you are talking about an 8U tournament, then is the organization really a chartered Little League?  Or are you just using LL rules?  What pitching rules do you use for 8U kids?

  • Rich_Ives Legend 1,283 posts since
    May 25, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    8. Jul 21, 2011 4:35 PM (in response to DougSloan)
    Re: Ball or Foul Ball?

    Read the defs of fair and foul balls.  "A batted ball  . . ."

     

    Did the pitch hit the bat?  It's a batted ball.

  • beowulf37 Legend 219 posts since
    May 25, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    9. Jul 22, 2011 7:01 AM (in response to DougSloan)
    Re: Ball or Foul Ball?

    You just cited the rule!

  • Rich_Ives Legend 1,283 posts since
    May 25, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    10. Jul 22, 2011 8:09 AM (in response to beowulf37)
    Re: Ball or Foul Ball?

    It'a a person unfamiliar with the game looking for an explanation.

     

    "Batted ball" isn't defined.  We know what it means because we've been around for so long. If the rule book added

     

    2.00 A BATTED BALL is a legal pitch that touches the batter's bat.

     

    If it hit the batter first (Frank's scenario) then the ball's dead and it's no longer a pitch so it isn't a batted ball.

     

    Then this thread wouldn't exist.

  • Frank_B Legend 1,324 posts since
    May 30, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    12. Jul 22, 2011 8:59 AM (in response to Rich_Ives)
    Re: Ball or Foul Ball?

    A "BATTED BALL" could also involve a declared "ILLEGAL" pitch on a base hit by a batter where the OM opts to "decline the illegal pitch penalty and accepts the play."   [Rule 8.05(k)... PENALTY]

     

    Frank!

  • Frank_B Legend 1,324 posts since
    May 30, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    13. Jul 22, 2011 8:56 AM (in response to Lou_B)
    Re: Ball or Foul Ball?

    Happens to the best of MLB batters-----even Ted Williams at a game I attended @ Fenway--->1949. The ball went fair.  He was thrown out at 1st base by the  catcher.  Ted was 

  • DuckMike Pro 88 posts since
    Nov 5, 2003
    Currently Being Moderated
    14. Jul 22, 2011 9:19 AM (in response to Frank_B)
    Re: Ball or Foul Ball?

    The one rule set where I believe it's not a foul ball is ASA slow pitch softball.  That really does require an intent to swing.

     

    This topic also brings to mind my 2010 nominee for manager-of-the-year.

     

    Tournament game (12 year olds).

    Close game.

    Late innings.

    Bases loaded.

    2 outs.

    3-2 count.

    Pitch is over and behind the batter's head.

    Pitch hits the bat.

    PU prematurely and instinctively yells "foul ball" and then watches as ball plops 2 feet in front of the plate.

    F2 picks up ball and steps on plate for putative 3rd out.

    PU (me, of course) is forced to point out that once I called "foul," it's indeed foul.

    DM comes out and asks what happened.  When I explain and apologize, he says "Don't sweat it, blue.  Those things happen."

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