Softball Definitions 2017


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Softball 2018 Selected Definitions

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Strike Zone The space over home plate which is between the batter’s forward arm pit and the top of the knees when the batter assumes her natural batting stance. Any part of the ball passing through the strike zone in flight shall be considered a strike. Umpire shall determine the batter’s strike zone according to the batter’s usual stance.

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Catch Is the act of a fielder who with her hand(s) and/or glove/mitt, securely gains possession of a batted, pitches or thrown ball. In establishing the validity of the catch, the fielder must prove she has control of the ball and that her release of the ball is voluntary and intentional. If the fielder has made the catch but drops the ball either in transferring it to the throwing hand or in making a throw, he ball shall be ruled caught.

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Foul ball vs. Foul tip Foul ball – a batted ball that : settles or is touched in foul territory between home and first base or between home and third base Bounds past first or third base on or over foul territory. First falls to the ground or is first touched on or over foul territory beyond first or third base. While on or over foul territory touches an umpire, player or any object foreign to the natural ground. While over foul territory, a runner interferes with a defensive player’s attempt to field a batted ball Touches the batter or the bat in the batter’s hands a second time Goes directly from the bat to any part of the catcher’s body or equipment and is caught by another player

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Foul Tip Foul Tip – is a batted ball that goes directly and sharply from the bat to the catcher’s mitt or hand and is legally caught by the catcher. It is a strike and the ball remains live. Note: If dropped by the catcher it is a foul ball.

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Legal Bat Must have USSSA thumb print logo Must not be altered in any way Must not have any dents and be able to fit through a bat ring.

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Legal Glove No more than two colors excluding the manufacturers logo. NO optic colored marking, excluding the logo, that could give the appearance of the ball. Anyone can use a legal glove for any position. That means a third baseman can use a first baseman’s mitt provided that the mitt is legal.

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Appeal A play or rule violation on which the umpire does not make a ruling until requested by a coach or player.

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Types of Appeals Missing a base, either advancing or returning (live or dead-ball appeal) Leaving a base on a caught fly ball before the ball is first touched (live or dead-ball appeal) Batting out of order (dead-ball appeal only) Attempting to advance to second base after making the turn at first base overrunning first base (live ball appeal only) Attempted check swing by the batter ( Live ball appeal only)

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Methods of an Appeal Live Ball – may be made during a live ball situation by any fielder in possession of the ball such as touching the base missed or left too soon on a caught fly ball, or by tagging the runner committing the violation if she is still on the playing field (even if she is on another base) Dead Ball – 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 ball. The administering umpire should then make a decision on the play.

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Illegal Pitch Is a violation of the pitching rule.

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Dead Ball The ball is not in play. All action stops.

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Delayed Dead Ball A situation in which a violation of a rule occurs and is recognized by the umpire by giving a delayed dead ball signal, but is not ruled upon until the ball becomes dead.

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Obstruction vs Inteference

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Obstruction Obstruction – Done by the Defense Is the act of a defensive team member that hinders or impedes a batter’s attempt to make contact with a pitched ball . Or Impedes the progress of a runner or batter-runner who is legally running bases, unless the fielder is in possession of the ball or is making the initial play on a batted ball. The act may be intentional or unintentional

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Interference Done by the Offense Is the act of an Offensive player who illegally impedes, hinders or confuses any fielder Or When a runner creates malicious contact with any fielder with or without the ball, in or out of the baseline.

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Bunt Is a legally batted ball not swung at but intentionally tapped with the bat

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Attempted Bunt Any non swinging movement of the bat intended to tap the ball into play. Holding the bat in he strike zone is considered a bunt attempt. Note: in order to take a pitch, the bat must be withdrawn - pulled backward and away from the ball and out of the strike zone.

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Slap Hit Is a batted ball that has been struck with a short, chopping motion rather than a full swing

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Courtesy Runner Team at bat may use a courtesy runner for the pitcher a/or catcher of record anytime after they reach base other than by substitution The same runner may not be used for both positions in the same half inning. Players who HAVE participated in the game in any other capacity are not entitled to serve as a courtesy runner EXCEPT

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Courtesy Runner Last completed at bat courtesy runner option -- Team’s may now use the last completed at bat (LCAB) player if no unused substitute is available. Under this change, a team will always have a courtesy runner (CR) option, even if roster batting. The LCAB courtesy runner is determined at the time the courtesy runner is requested, skipping batters i)currently on base ii)who are the pitcher or catcher of record iii)who have already courtesy run for the other position in the same inning … In the first inning, if there is no CR available using the above method, the LCAB CR shall be the player furthest away in the batting order. i.e., the LCAB CR for the leadoff batter is the last batter listed last in the lineup.

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Roster Batting Allows a team the option to bat its entire roster (all player’s physically present) in lieu of a traditional line-up. Teams choosing to roster bat may disperse additional players (AP’s) starters who aren’t listed as defensive players, anywhere in their batting order so as to bat everyone present. If a player leaves the game for any reason, it creates an absent player and an automatic out situation.

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Confines of the Field Includes the field, dugouts, and any warm-up area in view of the umpire(s). MUST be in View of Umpires.

Summary: Selected USSSA Fast Pitch Definitions