An appeal is a play or rule violation on which the Umpire does not make a ruling until requested by a coach or player.
1. Types of appeals:
A.) Missing a base, either advancing or returning (live or dead ball appeal).
B.) Leaving a base on a caught fly ball before the ball is first touched (live or dead-ball appeal).
C.) Batting out of order (dead-ball appeal only).
D.) Attempting to advance to second base after making the turn at first base overrunning first base (live-ball appeal only).
2. Live ball appeal (before Umpire calls time)
Any fielder can appeal a runner once. A Live Ball Appeal may be made by touching the runner (A & B & D above) or touching the base (A & B above). The ball is live and all runners may advance with the liability of being put out.
3. Dead ball appeal
Once all runners have completed their advancement and time has been called, the coach or any defensive player, with or without the ball, may make a verbal appeal on a runner missing a base or leaving a base too soon on a caught fly ball. The administering Umpire should then make a decision on the play.
A.) If the ball has gone out of play, runners must be given the opportunity to complete their base running responsibilities before the dead-ball appeal can be made.
B.) If “play ball” has been declared by the Umpire and the pitcher then requests an appeal, the Umpire would again call “time” and allow the appeal.
4. The appeals must be made:
A.) before the next legal or illegal pitch;
B.) at the end of an inning, before all infielders have left fair territory and the catcher vacates their normal fielding position; or
C.) on the last play of the game, before the Umpires leave the field of play.
5. Advancing Runners
A.) Runners may advance during a live-ball appeal play.
B.) No runner may advance on a dead ball appeal.
C.) No runner is out if they step off base during a dead ball appeal.
6. RUNNERS MAY NOT RETURN TO BASE:
A runner may not return to touch a missed base, or one left too soon on a caught fly ball if:
1.) she has advanced, touched, and remains on a base beyond the base missed or left too soon and the ball becomes dead.
2.) she has left the field of play, or
3.) the following runner has scored.
7. More Than One Appeal
More than one appeal play may be made but guessing games should not be allowed.
8. Force Out
If an appeal is honored at a base to which a runner was forced to advance, no runs would be scored if it was the third out.
9. Fourth-Out Appeal
An appeal may be made after the third out as long as it is made properly. (i.e. one out with a runner on first and third. The batter hits a fly ball that is caught. Each runner leaves their base before the caught ball is touched. An appeal is made at first base for the third out. The defensive team then makes an appeal at third base before the infielders leave the infield. The runner on third would then be declared out also, and the run would not count.)
10. Batting Out Of Order
A batter shall be called out on appeal when they fail to bat in their proper turn and another batter completes a time at bat in their place.
NOTE: Only the defensive team may appeal out of order after the batter has completed their time at bat.
- When an improper batter becomes a runner or is put out and the defensive team appeals to the Umpire before the next pitch (legal or illegal), or before the infielders leave the diamond if a half-inning is ending, batting out of order is declared and results in the following:
- The proper batter is declared out.
- The improper batter is taken off base. If the batter is out on the play, the out does not stand because the out for batting out of order supersedes an out by the improper batter on a play.
- Any outs made on the play on other runners stand. Any runner not put out must return to the base occupied at the time of the pitch.
- No runs may score on the play.
- The next batter is the player who follows in the batting order the player who was declared out for not batting in the proper order.
NOTE: If a runner advances because of a stolen base, wild pitch, or passed ball while the improper batter is at bat, such advance is legal.
- If an improper batter becomes a runner or is put out and a legal or illegal pitch has been delivered to the succeeding batter, or all infielders have left the diamond if a half-inning has ended and, in all cases, before an appeal is made, the improper batter becomes the proper batter and the results of their time at bat become legal.
- When the proper batter is called out because they failed to bat in turn, the next batter shall be the batter whose name follows that of the proper batter who was called out.
- When an improper batter becomes a proper batter because no appeal is properly made as above, the next batter shall be the batter whose name follows that of such legalized improper batter. The instant an improper batter’s actions are legalized, the batting order picks up with the name following that of the legalized improper batter.
NOTE: When several players bat out of order before discovery so that a player’s time at bat occurs while they are a runner, such player remains on base, but is NOT out as a batter.