Rule 7 - Batting
Sec. 1 ON-DECK BATTER
a. The offensive player whose name follows the name of the batter in the batting order.
b. Shall take a position within the lines of either of the on-deck circles.
c. May loosen up with no more than two official softball bats, an approved warmup bat, or a combination not to exceed two.
NOTE: A bat with which the on-deck batter is loosening up cannot have anything attached to it other than a Softball Canada approved bat attachment. (The Power wrap is approved.)
EFFECT – Sec. 1c:
1. When using other than a legal bat while loosening up, the illegal equipment must be removed from the game.
2. Continued use of the equipment after removal would subject the player using such equipment to ejection from the game.
d. May leave the on-deck circle:
1) When he becomes the batter.
2) To direct runners advancing from third to home plate.
3) To avoid possible interference on a fly ball or overthrown ball.
e. May not interfere with the defensive player’s opportunity to make an out.
EFFECT – Sec 1e: The ball is dead and if this interference:
1. With a defensive fielder’s attempt to retire a runner:
a. The runner closest to home plate at the time of the interference shall be called out; and
b. Other runners are returned to the last base held at the time of the interference, unless forced because the batter became a batter-runner.
2. With a defensive fielder attempting to catch a fly ball:
a. The batter-runner shall be called out; and
b. Runners are returned to the last base held at the time of the pitch.
Sec. 2 BATTING ORDER
a. The batting order of each team must be on the score sheet/line-up card and must be delivered before the game by the manager or captain to the plate umpire. He shall submit it for inspection to the manager or captain of the opposing team.
b. The batting order delivered to the umpire must be followed throughout the game unless a player is replaced by:
1) A substitute. When this occurs, the substitute must take the place of the substituted player in the batting order.
2) The Flex player who can bat or run for the starting DP or his substitute in the batting order.
c. The first batter in each inning shall be the batter whose name follows that of the last player who completed a turn at bat in the preceding inning.
EFFECT – Sec. 2b-c:
1. Batting out-of-order is an appeal play that may only be made by the manager, coach, or player of the defensive team.
2. The defensive team forfeits its right to appeal for batting out-of-order when all fielders have clearly vacated their normal fielding positions and have left fair territory on their way back to the bench or dugout.
a. If the error is discovered while the incorrect batter is at bat:
1) The correct batter may legally take his place, and assume the ball and strike count of the incorrect batter.
2) Any runs scored or bases run while the incorrect batter is at bat shall be legal.
b. If the error is discovered after the incorrect batter has completed his turn at bat and before the next pitch (legal or illegal):
1) The player who should have batted is out.
2) Any advance or score made as a result of the improper batter becoming a batter-runner shall be nullified.
3) Any out that is made prior to discovering this infraction, remains out.
4) The next batter is the player whose name follows that of the player called out for failing to bat.
5) If the next player was the incorrect batter who was called out, go to the next person in the line-up.
NOTE: If the player who was the improper batter was called out, his turn at bat shall not take place in the same inning, until all other batters in the batting order have completed their turn at bat. If his turn at bat occurs before this happens, go to the next batter.
6) If the batter declared out under these circumstances is the third out, the correct batter in the next inning shall be the player who would have come to bat had the player been put out by ordinary play.
7) If the third out is made on a runner prior to the discovery of the infraction, an appeal may still be made in order to reinstate the correct batting order. This appeal, if made, does not result in an additional out.
c. If the error is discovered after the first legal or illegal pitch to the next batter:
1) The turn at bat of the incorrect batter is legal.
2) All runs scored and bases run are legal.
3) The next batter in order shall be the one whose name follows that of the incorrect batter.
4) No one is called out for failure to bat.
5) Players who have not batted and who have not been called out have lost their turn at bat until reached again in the regular order.
d. No runner shall be removed from the base he is occupying to bat in his proper place.
1) He merely misses his turn at bat with no penalty.
2) The batter following him in the batting order becomes the legal batter.
EXCEPTION: The batter-runner who has been taken off the base by the umpire as in Section 2b above.
d. When the third out in an inning is made before the batter has completed the turn at bat, that batter shall be the first batter in the next inning, and the ball and strike count shall be cancelled.
Sec. 3 BATTING POSITION
a. The batter must take his position in the batter’s box within 10 seconds after the umpire has declared “Play Ball”.
EFFECT – Sec 3a: The umpire will call a strike. A pitch does not need to be thrown and the ball remains dead.
b. The batter must have both feet completely within the batter’s box prior to the start of the pitch.
c. He may touch the lines, but no part of his foot may be outside the lines prior to the pitch.
d. U14 to Masters Categories only: After entering the batter’s box, the batter must remain in the box with at least one foot between pitches and while taking signals and practice swings.
Exceptions: The batter can leave the box:
1) When the ball is batted foul or fair.
2) On a swing, or an attempted swing, which includes a slap or checked swing, provided the momentum of the swing or attempted swing carries the batter out of the batter’s box.
3) When forced out of the box by a pitch.
4) On a wild pitch or passed ball.
5) When a play is attempted.
6) When time has been called.
7) When the pitcher leaves the pitcher’s circle or the catcher leaves the catcher’s box.
8) On a 3 ball count that is a strike that the batter thinks is a ball.
EFFECT: If the batter leaves the batter’s box and delays play for any other reason, the umpire may warn the batter or call a strike. Any number of warnings and called strikes can be made with each batter. No pitch has to be thrown.
Sec. 4 A STRIKE IS CALLED BY THE UMPIRE
a. When any part of a legally pitched ball enters the strike zone before touching the ground and the batter does not swing.
EXCEPTION: It is not a strike if the pitched ball touches home plate and is not swung at.
b. For each legally pitched ball struck at and missed by the batter.
EFFECT – Sec. 4a -b: The ball is in play and runners may advance with liability to be put out.
c. For each foul tip.
EFFECT – Sec. 4c: The ball is in play and runners may advance with liability to be put out. The batter is out if it is the third strike.
d. For each foul ball not legally caught on the fly when the batter has less than two strikes.
e. For each pitched ball struck at and missed which touches any part of the batter.
f. When any part of the batter’s person or clothing is hit with his own batted ball when he is in the batter’s box and he has less than two strikes.
g. When a pitched ball hits the batter while the ball is in the strike zone.
h. When the batter fails to enter the batter’s box within 10 seconds after the umpire calls “Play Ball”.
EFFECT – Sec. 4d-h: The ball is dead and runners must return to their bases without liability to be put out.
Sec. 5 A BALL IS CALLED BY THE UMPIRE
a. For each legally pitched ball not swung at that:
1) Does not enter the strike zone; or
2) Touches the ground before reaching home plate; or
3) Touches home plate.
EFFECT – Sec. 5a: The ball is in play and runners may advance with liability to be put out.
b. For each illegally pitched ball:
1) Which the batter does not hit; or
2) When the manager elects not to take the result of the play after the ball has been hit. (Rule 6, Sec. 1-8 Effect 3a)
EFFECT – Sec. 5b: The ball is dead and runners are entitled to advance one base without liability to be put out.
c. For each excessive warm-up pitch.
EFFECT – Sec 5c: The ball is dead. Runners may not advance.
d. When the pitcher fails to pitch the ball within 20 seconds.
e. When the catcher fails to return the ball directly to the pitcher as required in Rule 6, Sec. 7b.
EFFECT – Sec. 5d-e: The ball remains live, except whenever the ball has become dead for any reason.
Sec. 6 THE BATTER IS OUT
a. When a batter enters the batter’s box with, or is discovered using, an altered bat or a bat not approved for use by both the USA Softball (formerly ASA) and WBSC (formerly ISF).
EFFECT – Sec. 6a: The batter is ejected from the game.
b. When the batter enters the batter’s box with, or is discovered using, an illegal bat.
EFFECT – Sec. 6a-b: The batter is out and the bat is removed from the game. If the batter made contact with the ball and the bat is discovered prior to the next legal or illegal pitch, all runners must return to the last base legally held at the time of the pitch.
c. When the third strike is:
1) Swung at and missed and the ball touches any part of the batter’s person.
2) Not swung at and the pitched ball hits the batter while the pitch is in the strike zone.
d. When his foot is completely outside the lines of the batter’s box and touching the ground, or any part of a foot is touching home plate when he hits the ball fair or foul.
e. When he leaves the box to gain a running start, but has returned to the box when he makes contact with the ball.
EXCEPTION: If no contact is made with the pitched ball, there is no penalty. If the batter swings and misses, the ball remains live.
f. When he bunts foul after the second strike.
EXCEPTION: If a runner interferes with:
1. A fielder attempting to catch a bunted fly ball in foul territory; or
2. A foul fly ball that a fielder is attempting to catch, the runner is out. The batter-runner will then return to bat with an additional strike on the foul ball, providing the count prior to hitting the ball was less than two strikes.
1. If this interference, in the umpire’s judgement, is an obvious attempt to prevent a double play, the runner closest to home plate at the time of the interference shall also be called out.
2. If the bunted fly ball is caught, the ball remains live and in play.
g. When he hits a fair ball with the bat a second time over fair territory.
EXCEPTION: If the batter is standing in the batter’s box and contact is made while the bat is in his hands, a foul ball is ruled, even if the ball is hit a second time over fair territory.
NOTE: If the batter drops the bat and the ball rolls against the bat over fair territory, and, in the umpire’s judgement, there was no intention to interfere with the course of the ball, he is not out, and the ball remains live and in play.
h. When he steps directly in front of the catcher to the other batter’s box while the pitcher is taking the signal, or appears to be taking a signal, from the pitcher’s plate or anytime after the release of the ball.
EFFECT – Sec. 6c-h: The ball is dead and each runner must return to the base that was touched at the time of the pitch.
i. When he:
1) Hinders the catcher from catching or throwing the ball by stepping out of the batter’s box; or
2) Intentionally hinders the catcher while standing within the batter’s box; or
3) Interferes with a play at home plate.
4) Intentionally interferes with a thrown ball while in or out of the batter’s box.
EFFECT – Sec. 6i: The ball is dead and each runner must return to the last base that, in the umpire’s judgement, was touched at the time of the interference.
j. When the catcher catches a called or swinging third strike.
k. When the catcher fails to catch a called or swinging third strike and first base is occupied with less than two out.
EFFECT – Sec. 6j-k: The ball is live and runners may advance with liability to be put out.