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Old Wed Aug 14, 2019, 05:52am
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ODB Gets Hit by Thrown Ball

Having a discussion in another venue about an on-deck batter getting hit with an errant throw. Basically, the ODB is where she's supposed to be in her circle, a throw from the outfield is wild, the ball hits off the fence and ricochets toward the ODB, who can't react quickly enough to get out of the way as the ball contacts her.

One of the umpires in that venue insists that anytime the ball and the ODB make contact, it becomes a dead ball. I believe in this case where the ODB did nothing wrong and she just couldn't get out of the way, the ball should remain live. It's really no different than when an errant throw hits a base coach. But I cannot find any rule or case play that points to the thought that an ODB is a player authorized to be on the field of play, and should she get hit with a thrown ball, it's incidental contact unless she does something that puts her in the path of that throw.

What say you? Please provide authoritative language (rule, case play, interpretation, etc.) that supports your argument.
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Old Wed Aug 14, 2019, 08:29am
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Fed: 2-5-3 On-Deck Batter - The on-deck batter is a player of the offensive team entitled to occupy the on-deck circle closest to her dugout.

2-2-3 Blocked Ball - A live ball touched by a person not engaged in the game (continues...) EDIT: I no longer think this is applicable; see next post.

2-64 Touching - Contact with the ball. There is no distinction between the act of touching and being touched (continues...)

5-1-1g If a thrown ball becomes blocked, award runners two bases from point of release (8-4-3e).

UNLESS the on-deck batter has committed interference (7-5-4); an ACT which hinders or impedes the defense (2-32) Simply existing is not an act. If the interference prevents an out, the runner being played upon is out. If no play was possible, runners return to last base at TOI.

Whew! Quite a ride through the book...back to your OP, yes (at least in Fed) any time the on-deck batter is touched by the ball it is an immediate dead ball. If it's not INT by the on-deck batter, award two bases from the throw. If there is an act of interference, the runner being played upon is out if the throw had a chance at a play; if not, runners return.
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Last edited by teebob21; Wed Aug 14, 2019 at 09:27am. Reason: edit
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Old Wed Aug 14, 2019, 08:54am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teebob21 View Post
Fed: 2-5-3 On-Deck Batter - The on-deck batter is a player of the offensive team entitled to occupy the on-deck circle closest to her dugout.

2-2-3 Blocked Ball - A live ball touched by a person not engaged in the game (continues...)

2-64 Touching - Contact with the ball. There is no distinction between the act of touching and being touched (continues...)

5-1-1g If a thrown ball becomes blocked, award runners two bases from point of release (8-4-3e).

UNLESS the on-deck batter has committed interference (7-5-4); an ACT which hinders or impedes the defense (2-32) Simply existing is not an act. If the interference prevents an out, the runner being played upon is out. If no play was possible, runners return to last base at TOI.

Whew! Quite a ride through the book...back to your OP, yes (at least in Fed) any time the on-deck batter is touched by the ball it is an immediate dead ball. If it's not INT by the on-deck batter, award two bases from the throw. If there is an act of interference, the runner being played upon is out if the throw had a chance at a play; if not, runners return.
Thanks for your thoroughness. But my question is why even bring up the concept of a blocked ball? The ODB is engaged in the game, by virtue of her being allowed on the field, the same as a base coach.

If she isn't engaged in the game, why is there a FED case play that tells us she cannot wear jewelry while in the on-deck circle? Jewelry wear by players not engaged in the game is nothing. If an ODB cannot wear jewelry, then FED considers her as being in the game.

Therefore, when a live ball contacts an ODB, it cannot be a blocked ball, IMHO.

So let's look at the rule on ODBs in general. The sanctions pretty much align when they mention an ODB cannot interfere with a live ball. If she does and there's the potential of a play, it's a dead ball and the runner closest to home is out. If there is no potential play, it's a dead ball and the runners return to their TOI bases.

In my mind, that applies to when the ODB commits an act to interfere (I don't want to say she does something intentional because I know intent is not a factor). For example, a pitched ball rolls to her feet, and she picks it up and tosses it to the catcher. Or she's in a location where she shouldn't be, such as going to the backstop to retrieve a discarded bat, and an overthrown ball to home hits her. To me, those are appropriate reasons to rule that she interfered.

But if she's where she should be--in the on-deck circle or set up to direct a scoring runner--and a thrown ball that she has no idea is coming her way hits her, I believe the ball should be kept live and in play, the same as if it hits a base coach who is doing what (s)he is expected to do. I'm just looking (and having a hard time finding) where the rules treat the ODB and the base coach the same, which they should.
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Old Wed Aug 14, 2019, 09:27am
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I'll accept this logic. The case plays and scenarios you gave sent me through both the ASA and Fed books. I'll grant that both codes authorize the on-deck batter to be on-field, although she doesn't have offensive status as either a runner or batter. I was working under the assumption that only batters, runners, and coaches were, to coin a term, "actively" in the game during a live ball. I can't find a rule to confirm that so specifically, so I won't assume it's true any longer.

If we grant that the on-deck batter is "in the game" by virtue of explicitly being permitted on-field (also exists in USA 7-1), then the blocked ball example is out. An on-deck batter who makes no act of INT, and touches a thrown ball, should be nothing; play on. However, I suspect that the "INT but no chance for an out" exception is both codes is what may be read as "any time the ball hits the ODB, it's a dead ball".

I'd love to see an official interp from TPTB in either USA or Fed.
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Old Wed Aug 14, 2019, 10:20am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teebob21 View Post
I'd love to see an official interp from TPTB in either USA or Fed.
Me too. I'm trying to convince another umpire who insists that any time the ball contacts the ODB, it should become dead. I personally don't think that should be the case since, IMHO, she has the same "status" as the base coach in terms of authorization to be on the field. If it's perfectly acceptable to keep the ball live when it hits the base coach through no fault of his/her own, then the same should be the case when it comes to the ODB. It would really surprise me if the official edict is that the base coach and the ODB are treated differently.

Tell me how this makes sense:

Scenario 1: Nobody on base. Batter hits a frozen rope to F9 who fields it on the hop. F9 throws to first base to play on the BR, and her throw is wide left. The throw hits the base coach and caroms into the dugout. Ruling: Ball remains live until it enters the dugout, and the BR is awarded second base (two bases from F9's throw)

Scenario 2: Nobody on base. Batter hits a frozen rope to F9 who fields it on the hop. F9 throws to first base to play on the BR, and her throw goes over F3's head. The throw hits the on-deck batter who is still in the circle and caroms into the dugout. Ruling: The ball is immediately dead when it hits the on-deck batter, and the BR remains at first.

I don't buy it.
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Old Wed Aug 14, 2019, 11:53am
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Nfhs has a case play regarding an errant throw that hits a photographer outside a media area and the ball remains live. So, a photographer is most certainly a person not engaged in the game, and if an errant throw hitting them is not a dead ball then why on Earth would an errant throw hitting on on deck batter be dead?
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Old Wed Aug 14, 2019, 08:53pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RKBUmp View Post
Nfhs has a case play regarding an errant throw that hits a photographer outside a media area and the ball remains live. So, a photographer is most certainly a person not engaged in the game, and if an errant throw hitting them is not a dead ball then why on Earth would an errant throw hitting on on deck batter be dead?
That was part of what changed my mind on Manny's sitch. I was going to post that media is authorized on-field...etc....that said, as of this year I'm pretty sure Fed changed media areas to dead-ball territory, and thus a media member who touches the ball would make the ball dead.
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Old Thu Aug 15, 2019, 06:12am
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Media was allowed to be in designated media areas, they were never allowed to be outside that area on the field of play.
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Old Thu Aug 15, 2019, 02:20pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RKBUmp View Post
Media was allowed to be in designated media areas, they were never allowed to be outside that area on the field of play.
And the ODB is in a designated area.
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Old Thu Aug 15, 2019, 08:41pm
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The ODB is not always restricted to the on deck circle, they are allowed to leave it in certain situations. The media was never suppose to be outside the area. And when there was a media area allowed on the field of play, there was a rule that stated the ball was dead if it hit something inside the media area. There is no such rule stating a ball hitting the on deck batter in the on deck circle is dead automatically.

Last edited by RKBUmp; Thu Aug 15, 2019 at 08:46pm.
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Old Mon Aug 19, 2019, 01:08pm
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Wow, I cannot believe there isn't anything out there in any sanction's authoritative releases that mentions what happens when an on-deck batter gets hit accidentally with a thrown ball. Nobody really knows of anything that has been put out? It isn't as if this is something that the chances are so minuscule to not even bother mentioning it.
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