1. ON-DECK BATTER:
A.) The on-deck batter may take a position within the lines of the on-deck circle nearest the offensive team bench. No player is permitted to warm up in the other team’s on-deck circle.
B.) The on-deck batter may loosen up with no more than two official softball bats, an approved warm-up bat, or a combination not to exceed two. Any detachable piece placed on the bat must be approved.
C.) The on-deck batter may leave the on-deck circle:
- When the on-deck batter becomes the batter.
- To direct runners advancing from third to home plate.
D.) The on-deck batter may not interfere with the defensive player’s opportunity to make an out.
- If it involves a runner, the runner closest to home plate at the time of the interference shall be declared out.
- If it is with the defensive fielder fielding a fly ball, the batter is out.
Note: When the interference is with a thrown ball, the ball is dead and the runner closest to home is declared out. If no play is obvious, no player is out, but runners shall return to the last base touched at the time of interference.
2. POSITION AND BATTING ORDER:
Each player of the team at bat shall become the batter and shall take their position within the batter’s box (on either side of home base), in the order in which their name appears on the lineup card as delivered to the Plate Umpire and the opposing team prior to the game. The order shall be followed during the entire game except that an entering substitute shall take the replaced player’s place in the batting order. A batter is in proper order if the batter follows the preceding player in the lineup, even though such preceding batter may have batted out of order. An improper batter is considered to be at bat as soon as they enter the batter’s box and one pitch has been thrown. When an improper batter’s infraction is first discovered, time may be requested and the improper batter replaced by the proper batter who will assume the improper batter’s ball and strike count, provided the infraction is detected before the improper batter is put out or becomes a base runner.
3. LEAD OFF BATTER:
After the first inning, the first batter in each inning shall be the player whose name follows that of the last batter who completed their time at bat in the preceding inning.
4. BATTING POSITION:
A.) Prior to the pitch, the batter must have both feet completely in 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.
B.) After the ball is in play, the batter may not step out of the batter’s box to stop play unless time has been granted by the Umpire.
EFFECT: All action will continue, and the pitch will be called.
5. A STRIKE is charged to the batter when:
A.) A pitched ball enters any part of the strike zone in flight and is not struck at.
B.) A pitched ball, in the Umpire’s judgment, is prevented from entering the strike zone by any actions of the batter.
C.) A pitched ball is struck at and missed.
D.) A pitched ball becomes a foul ball when the batter has less than two strikes.
Note: A batted ball that contacts the batter in the batter’s box is a foul ball.
E.) A pitched ball becomes a foul tip (even on a third strike) or a foul from an attempted bunt.
F.) A penalty strike is called because of a batter delay.
6. A BALL:
Is credited to the batter when a pitch is not touched by the bat and is not a strike or when there is an illegal pitch or for catcher/pitcher’s delay.
7. BATTED BALL:
A foul hit or fair hit, which may be a bunt, occurs when a pitch is touched by the bat of the batter who is in the batter’s box.
EXCEPTION: Foul Tip.
8. BATTER SHALL NOT DELAY THE GAME:
A batter shall not delay the game by failing to promptly take their position in the batter’s box within 10 seconds of the pitcher having the ball in the pitching circle, or by stepping out of the box when the pitcher is on the pitcher’s plate.
PENALTY: If a pitcher is committed to delivering the pitch, the batter leaves the box at the risk of having a strike called while being out of position. For failure of the batter to be ready within 10 seconds after the ball has been returned to the pitcher, the Umpire shall call a strike. If it is the third strike, the Umpire shall call time and declare the batter out.
NOTE 1: After entering the batter’s box, the batter leaves it at the risk of being charged with delay. The batter may request time-out if the batter desires to step out for a valid reason and, if granted, the 10 seconds count will begin anew when the ball is declared live. The Umpire is authorized to refuse to grant time-out if the batter repeatedly causes a delay or if their leaving the batter’s box appears to be an attempt to worry the pitcher or to gain some other advantage.
NOTE 2: If the pitcher stops or hesitates in their delivery as a result of the batter stepping out of the box or holding up their hand to request time, it shall not be an illegal pitch. However, if the batter steps out of the box or holds up their hand to request time and the pitcher legally delivers the ball, it shall be called a strike and the ball remains live. If a pitch is not delivered, a rule has been violated by both the batter and pitcher. The Umpire shall call time, declare, “no-pitch” and begin play again. If the Umpire judges the batter’s action to be a deliberate attempt to create an illegal pitch, the Umpire shall penalize according to the Sportsmanship Rule (11.2.S).
9. A BATTER SHALL BE IN THE BOX WHEN HITTING THE BALL:
A batter shall not hit the ball fair or foul while either foot is touching the ground completely outside the lines of the batter’s box or while touching the plate.
PENALTY: The ball becomes dead immediately. The batter is out.
10. A BATTER SHALL NOT DISCONCERT THE PITCHER: A batter shall not disconcert the pitcher by stepping out of the box on one side of home plate to the box on the other side while the pitcher is in position ready to pitch.
PENALTY: The ball becomes dead immediately. The batter is out.
11. A BATTER SHALL NOT INTENTIONALLY MOVE TO GET HIT BY PITCH:
A batter shall not intentionally move to get hit by the pitch.
PENALTY: The batter remains at bat (pitch is a ball or strike) unless pitch was a third strike or ball four.
12. A BATTER SHALL NOT INTERFERE WITH CATCHER: A batter shall not interfere with the catcher’s fielding or throwing by leaning over home plate. By stepping out of the batter’s box, by making any other movement which hinders action at home or the catcher’s attempt to play on a runner, or by failing to make a reasonable effort to vacate congested areas when there is a throw to home and there is time for the batter to move away.
PENALTY: Dead ball; the batter is out.
13. BROKEN BAT AND THROWN BAT:
If the bat breaks and is hit by the ball or hits a runner or a fielder, no interference will be called. If a whole bat is thrown and interferes with a defensive player attempting a play, interference shall be called.
PENALTY: The batter is out, and runners return. If in the Umpire’s judgment, interference prevented a possible double play, two may be declared out (the batter throwing the bat and the runner closest to home).
14. A BATTER SHALL BE CALLED OUT:
A.) Prior to the next pitch (legal or illegal), the batter was discovered having hit the ball with an illegal bat or non-approved bat.
EFFECT: Any runner not put out must return to the base occupied at the time of the pitch. Any runners put out prior to the discovery shall remain out.
First Offense: Team Warning
Subsequent Offense: Player Restricted to Dugout; Coach Ejected.
B.) A third strike is caught before the ball touches the ground.
C.) A bunt on a third strike is foul.
D.) A third strike (in flight) is not caught, provided a runner occupies first base at the time of the pitch and there are less than two outs.
NOTE: If there are two outs or if no runner occupies first base, the batter is not out unless the third strike is caught. The batter is entitled to try to reach first base before being tagged out or thrown out.
E.) If a team is playing short as per Rule 5 Sec 2 and the absent player’s turn to bat is reached.
F.) After hitting or bunting a ball, the bat hits the ball a second time while the ball is on or over fair territory, or is on or over foul territory and, in the Umpire’s judgment, had a chance to become a fair ball, the ball is dead, no runner(s) advance and the batter is out.
EXCEPTION: If the bat and ball accidentally come in contact with each other a second time while the batter is holding the bat in the batter’s box, it is a foul ball.
NOTE: If the batter drops the bat and the ball rolls against the bat in fair territory and, in the Umpire’s judgment, there was no intention to interfere with the course of the ball, the batter is not out and the ball is live and in play.
G.) When an entire foot is touching the ground completely outside the lines of the batter’s box when the ball makes contact with the bat.
H.) When any part of a foot is touching home plate when the ball makes contact with the bat.
I.) When a batter leaves the box but has returned to the box and makes contact with the ball.
EXCEPTION: Section G-I: If no contact is made with the pitched ball, there is no penalty
PENALTY: Dead Ball and all runners must return to the base occupied at the time of pitch in A, C, F-I.