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Old Tue May 08, 2018, 09:00pm
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When does a foul/dead ball become live?

Foul ball. Plate umpire gives ball to catcher whose throw gets away from the pitcher. Runners advance. Umpire says ball was live when he gave it to the catcher. Incorrect ruling? When does the ball become live? USA.

I worked Fed and NCAA the most, now coaching.
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Old Wed May 09, 2018, 05:00am
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This is one reason why I liked my old habit from baseball training, to point and say "play" whenever making the ball live. But then I was told "we don't do that in softball".

I believe that in softball the ball be can considered live once the pitcher has taken her spot on the pitcher's plate, the catcher is positioned in the catcher's box, and the batter is set in the batter's box.
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Old Wed May 09, 2018, 07:17am
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Originally Posted by BretMan View Post
I believe that in softball the ball be can considered live once the pitcher has taken her spot on the pitcher's plate, the catcher is positioned in the catcher's box, and the batter is set in the batter's box.
That is a practice that a lot of umpires I work with employ. But technically, the umpire is supposed to make the ball live by either saying "play" or make a beckoning motion to the pitcher.

In NH, that is included on our HS evaluation form. So if being evaluated, you better do it or risk losing points for not doing it. (NFHS 5.1.4)

I've developed a protocol that if there are no runners on base, I don't do it. My logic is that it really is to re-initiate when the LBR is in effect. I will after a time out.

The umpire that claimed that the ball was live when he gave it to the catcher is a hack.

A lot of umpires like to throw the ball to the pitcher after a ball has gone out of play. I might have done that my first couple of years, but after almost hitting the pitcher with a ball because she wasn't looking, I decided to simply give the ball to the catcher.
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Last edited by Tru_in_Blu; Wed May 09, 2018 at 07:21am. Reason: added reference
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Old Wed May 09, 2018, 07:37am
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Originally Posted by Reffing Rev. View Post
Foul ball. Plate umpire gives ball to catcher whose throw gets away from the pitcher. Runners advance. Umpire says ball was live when he gave it to the catcher. Incorrect ruling?
I'll say.

So, does this PU wait for the runners to return to their bases before he hands the ball to the catcher? Or can they just continue to head to their next bases once the ball is handed to the catcher and the ball becomes live again?

Like BretMan, I get frustrated by the lackadaisical attitude USA Softball has over putting the ball back into play again after Time or Dead Ball is called. There should be a formal procedure established to make the ball live again. There's guidance in the USA Softball Umpire Manual under "Plate Mechanics" Section 3, "The Pitch" that says:

Quote:
a. To start the game or any time after the umpire has prevented a pitch from being delivered, the umpire should direct the pitcher to play ball. When holding up play, simply hold up the hand opposite the batter with your palm facing the pitcher. When you are ready for the pitch, point at the pitcher and say "play" or "play ball."
Why limit this specifically to when the umpire stops the pitcher from possibly quick-pitching? Why not use the point and verbal "play" or "play ball" following any stoppage in play? It would prevent dumb interpretations like the one here where the umpire thinks the ball is live when he hands a new ball to the catcher.

Consider this: the PU calls Time to clean off the plate while the pitcher has the ball in the circle. As he finishes dusting it off and is returning to behind the plate, the runner at first notices that the pitcher has the ball in her glove between her knees while she's fixing her hair. So the runner takes off from first and makes it safely to second without a play. So, was the ball in play or not? One umpire might say, "No, the ball isn't live until the batter gets in the box, the catcher gets behind the plate, and I'm ready. Runner, go back to first." Another umpire might say, "Sure, why not? I finished cleaning off the plate, so there's no reason the ball remains dead. Runner, stay at second base." Without definitive guidance, either answer could be correct.

At least NFHS has 5-1-4:

Quote:
ART. 4 . . . After a dead-ball situation, the ball becomes live when the umpire calls and/or signals “Play Ball.”
And NCAA has this:

Quote:
6.9.2 Once a ball is declared dead, it cannot be made live and remains dead until an umpire indicates resumption of play.
Where does USA Softball say something similar?
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Last edited by Manny A; Wed May 09, 2018 at 07:40am.
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Old Wed May 09, 2018, 08:04am
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Just point at the pitcher and say play, (especially say play with runners on base). You'll be avoiding a world of hurt later on. BTW, I work both baseball and softball, so my plate mechanics are identical for both sports, with the exception of my strike signal.

Last edited by ilyazhito; Wed May 09, 2018 at 08:10am.
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Old Wed May 09, 2018, 08:26am
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Originally Posted by Manny A View Post
Like BretMan, I get frustrated by the lackadaisical attitude USA Softball has over putting the ball back into play again after Time or Dead Ball is called. There should be a formal procedure established to make the ball live again. There's guidance in the USA Softball Umpire Manual under "Plate Mechanics" Section 3, "The Pitch" that says:

Maybe USA doesn't believe the umpires are so inept they need every scenario specified. When play is suspended for any reason, the ball is not live until the umpire indicates it as such.

USA doesn't specify the order in which bases must be touched, but are you going to allow a runner to run to 2, 3, 1 and home and still score the run?
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Old Thu May 10, 2018, 10:51am
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Originally Posted by IRISHMAFIA View Post
Maybe USA doesn't believe the umpires are so inept they need every scenario specified. When play is suspended for any reason, the ball is not live until the umpire indicates it as such.

USA doesn't specify the order in which bases must be touched, but are you going to allow a runner to run to 2, 3, 1 and home and still score the run?
Yeah, typical. I kinda expected an @$$hole response from you like this.

Oh, and by the way, how about reading USA Rule 5, Section 5A.1, hmmm?
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