1 Frequently Asked Softball Questions JGSL.ORG Q1. The game is ready to start and not all my girls are here, what do I do? A1. The game begins at the scheduled starting time. If you have less than seven players, you forfeit the game. If you have seven or more players, the game begins. If girls arrive late, they are inserted at the bottom of the batting order. If at any point during the game, your team has less than seven players able to play, you forfeit the game. Q2. The ball hit the ground in foul territory, then rolled fair, is this a fair or foul ball? A2. This is a fair ball. Any ball that is in fair territory when it is touched, or stops is a fair ball, unless it has hit in foul territory in the outfield. The bases and home plate are in fair territory. Any ball that hits a base and rolls foul is a fair ball. If the ball hits the plate and rolls foul, it is a foul ball. It does not matter where a player is standing when the ball is touched, only where the ball is. Q3. My baserunner was hit with the ball, is she out? A3. It depends. If she was hit with the ball in the batter's box or in foul territory, it is a foul ball. If she was hit with a batted ball in fair territory she is out, except if the ball had already rolled past a fielder attempting to field the ball, and no other fielder is in position to field the ball (then she is not out and the play is still alive). If she was hit with a batted ball while standing on the base she occupied at the beginning of the at bat, then the play is dead, and the batter is awarded first base. If she was hit with a thrown ball, while she was running in the base line (or standing on the base), she is not out, and the play is still alive. If she was hit with a thrown ball while she was running out of the base line, and obstructing the view of the player trying to catch the ball, then she is out. Q4. My base runner collided with the fielder, is she out? A4. It depends. A base runner that collides with a fielder who is attempting to field a batted ball is causing interference, even if she is running in the baseline. In this case, time is called, the base runner is automatically out and the batter is awarded first base, but a double play may be called if the umpire rules that the interference was intentional and may have prevented a double play from occuring. If a baserunner collides with a fielder who is not attempting to field a batted ball, it is obstruction and the baserunner is awarded the next base, or more, if the umpire's judgement is that she would have reached those bases without the collision. In this latter case, the play remains alive. Q5. A batted ball hit the bat in the field of play, is the batter out? A5. It depends. If the bat rolled into the ball, the batter is out. If the ball rolled into a stationary bat, then the play is still alive. Q6. A thrown ball hit the bat and ricocheted, what happens? A6. The play is still alive.
2 Q7. My batter threw the bat for the second time in a game, is she out? A7. On the second thrown bat of a game, timeout is called and the batter is out, similar to a strike out. Q8. A batted ball hit the umpire in the field of play, is it still a live ball? A8. It depends. If a batted ball hits an umpire prior to passing a fielder, time is called and the batter is awarded first base, and ruled a hit (similar to a walk). Other runners advance only if forced. If a batted ball hits an umpire after passing a fielder, it is a live ball, and play continues as if the ball did not hit the umpire. Q9. A batted ball hit a coach in the field of play in E or K league, is it still a live ball? A9. It depends. If the coach attempted to get out of the way, it is a live ball, and play continues as if the ball did not hit the coach. If the coach intentionally interfered with the batted ball, then the batter is out (similar to a strike out). Q10. A player is running down the first base line and the first baseman is in her way. It caused her to have to slow down. As a result she was then thrown out (either at 1 st, 2 nd, 3 rd, or home). What is the correct call. A10. Obstruction can occur with, or without a collision. A fielder, not attempting to field the ball, cannot be in the base path such that they obstruct the runner. Similarly, a fielder not attempting to catch a thrown ball that is in the air, cannot be on the base, in the way of a runner. If the runner has to slow down to avoid the fielder, or collides with the fielder, obstruction occurs, but play is not immediately stopped. The umpire makes no call unless the runner is thrown out, or does not reach the base that the umpire felt the runner would achieve if they hadn t been obstructed. At the end of the play, based upon the umpire s judgement, they can overrule a force or tag out (calling the runner safe instead), based upon obstruction, or can even award an additional base if warranted. At a minimum, an obstructed runner is awarded the next base that they were running to. This is not an appeal play the umpire makes the obstruction call and base award without requiring the base runner s manager to request it. For this question, if the umpire should overrule the out, and award the runner the base. Q11. My base runner left the base early, but the ball wasn't hit, is she out? A11. Yes. Base runners must remain in contact with the base until the ball is hit, reaches home plate, or hits the ground. Otherwise they are called out. It doesn t matter if the ball was hit or not. Q12. What is the rule on the arch of a pitch. A12. The ball must arch at least three feet from the release point of the pitcher. The ball must be no more than ten feet above the ground. Q13. What is the exact strike zone? A13. The zone over the plate and below the top of the batter's highest shoulder, and
3 above the bottom of the batter's front knee. Q14. My team is getting killed, when will this game end? A14. The game is over if one team is ahead by 15 or more runs at the end of the inning, starting with the fifth inning. Q15. It started raining hard and the umpire stopped the game, will the game still count, how do you decide the final score? A15. A complete game must go 4 innings, or 3 1/2 innings if the home team is ahead. If you have completed 3 1/2, 4 1/2, 5 1/2, or 6 1/2 innings and the home team is ahead, then the game is over and the final score is the current score. If you have completed 4 or more innings and the visiting team is ahead, or the score is tied, then the game is over, and the final score is the score at the end of the last fully completed inning. If you have completed the 4 (or 3 ½) innings, and the score at the end of the last full completed inning is tied, then the game will be continued at a later date from the stopping point. Any new players that are available at the resumption of the game must be added at the bottom of the lineup. If you have not completed the 4 (or 3 1/2) innings, then the game does not count and you must replay the entire game. Q16. Can base runners tag up and advance on caught fly foul balls? A16. Yes. A caught fly foul ball is treated just like a caught fly fair ball. Runners can tag up and advance. Runners can also be forced out for returning late to their base. Q17. A pitch bounced on the ground and then the batter hit it, it this a live hit, or a ball? A17. A batter can hit a pitch that would be considered a ball, and it is a live play. Q18. The base runner missed the base, is she out automatically? A18. No. She is only out if the fielding team appeals the missed base to the umpire by throwing the ball to a fielder in contact with the missed base. The umpire must have witnessed that she missed the base to call her out. Q19. My girls batted out of order, what happens. A19. The missed batter must wait until her next at bat to bat. If the other team noticed that you batted out of order before the first pitch to the next batter, then the missed batter is called out. Example: B1 is on 1 st base, B2 is supposed to bat next, B3 bats instead. The appeal on out of order batting must happen before the first pitch to B4. If B3 had gotten a hit, and the appeal occurred before the first pitch to B4, then B1 goes back to 1 st base, B2 is called out, and B3 is back up to bat again. If B3 gets an out, and the out of order is appealed, the only out is still B2, and B3 is up all over again. If however, B3 hits into a double play (B1 and B3 get out), and the out of order is appealed before the first pitch to B4, both B1 and B2 are out, and B3 is back up to bat. Note that the fielding team is not required to appeal even if they know that an out of order bat occurred. If the mistake is noticed by the batting team before B3 completes her at bat, B2 may step into the batters box and assume the balls and strikes on B3,
4 with no penalty. Q20. The batted ball hit the plate and stopped on it, is this a fair or foul ball? A20. The plate is in fair territory. Any batted ball that stops on the plate is a fair ball. Q21. A batted ball hit first base then immediately bounced into foul territory. Is this a fair or foul ball? A21. Fair ball. All bases, and the plate are in fair territory. Any ball that reaches a base in fair territory is a fair ball. Q22. A batted ball was picked up by the 1 st base girl who held the ball in her bare hand while she touched 1 st base (ahead of the runner) with her glove hand. Is the runner out? A22. The runner is out if it was a force play. The glove is considered part of the fielder s body. Any part of the fielder s body, touching the base, while the fielder has control of the ball, can cause a force out. If however, if it was not a force play, then the base runner would need to be touched by the ball to be out, and would not be out by being tagged with an empty glove. Q23. Two base runners ended up standing on the same base. Is one automatically out? A23. No. The first base runner to occupy the base is entitled to it, unless she was required to advance to the next base due to a force. The second baserunner is not entitled to the base, but must be tagged out before returning to her base. Since she is not entitled to the base, she can be tagged out even while she is standing on the same base as the first baserunner. If the first base runner leaves the base before the second base runner is tagged, then the play is still alive and tag or force outs may occur as usual. Q24. Base runner 2 passed base runner 1, who is out? A24. Base runner 2 is out, and the play is still alive, with baserunner 1 in jeopardy until the play comes to a stop. Q25. My third base coach hugged his daughter as she went into third base with a stand-up triple. The umpire called her out, why? A25. Base coaches may not interfere with the play by holding or pushing a base runner while the ball is in play. If that happens, the base runner is out.
5 Q26. Baserunner1 is on first base, and the batter hits the ball to the second basegirl. Baserunner1 stops in the base path to avoid the tag. The second basegirl throws the ball to first base and gets the force out on the batter. After touching first base, the first basegirl throws the ball to second base, ahead of Baserunner1, for what I thought was a double play. Instead, Baserunner1 ran back to first base. Isn t she out? A26. No, Baserunner1 is safe at first base. Once the batter is out at first, it removes the force play at second. Baserunner1 can choose between attempting to return to first base or advancing to second base. In either case, she is only out if she is tagged out. Q27. What is the infield fly rule, and when does it apply? A27. The infield fly rule is only applicable in JGSL A league. The infield fly rule states that the batter is automatically out on any infield fly ball that should have been caught with routine effort, if runners are on 1 st and 2 nd, or on 1 st, 2 nd and 3 rd, with less than 2 outs. The umpires yell out infield fly, batter s out as soon as they determine that it is a routine infield fly ball. The rule is intended to prevent the fielding team from purposefully dropping a routine fly ball to get a double play on the base runners. Despite the batter being automatically out, the play remains alive. The base runners may attempt to advance to the next base at their own risk. If the ball is caught, they must tag up first to advance, and can be out if they do not get back to the base in time. If the ball is dropped, they can elect to advance to the next base and must be tagged out. The base runners may also remain at their base. Q28. My 3 rd basegirl was standing in fair territory, and reached over the foul line to try and catch a foul ball. The ball hit her glove, then bounced out of it, and landed in fair territory. Is this ball fair or foul. A28. Foul ball. Once a ball is touched by a player the umpire rules on fair or foul ball, based upon the position of the ball, not the player. Once a ball is touched fair or foul, it stays fair or fall, regardless of where it moves after it has been touched. Q29. Which umpires make the calls at which bases? A29. In cases where two umpires are available, the home plate umpire is responsible for calling balls and strikes, and making calls at home plate. The base umpire is responsible for making calls at first and second. Third base is open to whichever umpire is in better position. In JGSL, normally the home plate umpire will make calls at third base, unless he/she also has to make a call at home plate. Note that the umpires work as a team, and may consult with each other and make calls at any base depending upon which umpire had the best view of the play. Q30. One of the members of my team was ejected from a game for unsportsman-like behavior. What happens now? A30. Any one who is ejected from a game manager, coach, player, or spectator, is required to leave the field immediately, and also suspended for the next two games for that team. During the suspension, the ejected person is not permitted to be at the field of play. If the season is over, the suspension carries over into tournaments, or into the following season. Ejections must be reported by the umpire to the head of the umpires.
6 The league commissioner must do an investigation of the incident and report the results to the JGSL Board of Directors. Q31. As a manager, when can I appeal a call? A31. Only the manager can make an appeal. Appeals can be made only if the manager believes that a rule was misapplied, or if the umpire responsible for making the call had their view obstructed. Appeals should be made [calmly] to the umpire who made the call, not the other umpire. If the responsible umpire agrees that their view was obstructed, or they may have misapplied a rule, then they can agree to get input from the other umpire. If the other umpire had clear evidence that the original call was incorrect, then the umpires can agree to reverse the original call. If the other umpire has any doubt as to the validity of the original call, then the original call will stand unchanged. During the appeal process, it is normal for the umpires to consult with each other, away from the managers, to ensure that the call is made as correct as possible. Note that in instances of uncertainty, the benefit of the doubt goes to the base runner. If the umpires do not clearly see an out made, they must assume the runner to be safe.
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Table of Contents General Coaching Tips --------------------------------------------------------------------3 Basic Practice Set-Up --------------------------------------------------------------------4