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The Umpires' Corner Covering Baseball and Softball, Majors and Minors

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Did you know? In Little League- In baseball, the defensive manager may elect to "Intentionally Walk" the batter by announcing such decision to the plate umpire prior to a pitch being thrown. Four pitches will be added to the pitch count.

The batters box extends 27 ½" back from the point of the plate.

There is no “On Deck Batter”, no practice swinging except by the batter at the plate. 

Maximum bat length is 33”

No player can wear a white undershirt that is visible outside the uniform.

In baseball, the catcher must wear a mitt, but in softball, the catcher can use a fielder’s glove.

All Catchers must wear an approved helmet with mask and dangling throat protector.

The pitcher’s glove must be uniform in color, and not white or grey.

An “appeal” is made by a player, verbally, while the ball is alive.

There is no “balk”, only “an illegal pitch”. An illegally batted ball is one where the batter makes contact with the pitch with one or both feet entirely out of the batter’s box. The batter is out.

An “infield fly” is when, with less than (2) outs, and runners at first and second, or with the bases loaded, the batter hits a fair fly ball that the umpire judges to be routinely catchable by an infielder.

It is “interference” when an offensive player, in the judgement of the umpire, interferes with a defensive player attempting to make a play. “Obstruction” occurs when a defensive player, who does not have the ball nor is in the act of making a play, prohibits the offensive player from his or her rightful position, i.e. the base path. The collision into a defensive player by a runner is “PROHIBITED” and any such occurrence that in the judgement of the umpire is not incidental, will result in the runner being called out and ejected from the game.

Only players and coaches are allowed in the dugout. An adult must be in the dugout at all times.

A complete game is one where, if called before normal completion, the home team is ahead after 3 ½ innings, or the visitors are ahead after 4 innings.

A game cannot be played unless both teams can field at least (9) players. If the game has not started, the team with less than (9) will be given up to 10 minutes after start time to field (9), and if they can’t the result is a forfeit.

The ball is “always alive” unless it has been deemed to go into a dead ball area or if the umpire has ruled the need for a time out. Neither players or coaches can stop play by trying to call time out.

If a batted or thrown ball goes into a dead ball area, all runners are awarded (2) bases. If the play was the first play of an infielder, the bases are awarded to all runners from where they were when the pitch was made. All other plays result in awarding the bases to all runners from the last “legally possessed base” at the time the throw was made.

There is no head-first sliding into a base – but a runner can go back to a bag head-first.