Little League Baseball Rules- III
The long anticipated Little League Baseball Rules- III: This trilogy finishes up by going over a couple of additional major division rules and then add a couple of obscure rules for the intermediate/ junior/ senior divisions. These rules are similar to Babe Ruth and High School rules but you will want to check them out in the appropriate rule book for clarification.
If you can’t catch it chase it
If you, as a fielder, deliberately touch a batted ball, in play, with a cap, mask, or other part of the uniform, including the glove, that is detached from its proper place the batter is awarded 3 bases. Also if you throw your glove at a ball the batter gets a triple. The ball is not dead and the player can attempt to score if they choose. If you get them out at the plate that is too bad for them as they could have been safe at 3rd base.
Note: If you do any of the above mentioned things to a thrown ball the batter gets a 2 bases. Not quite as bad as a batted ball but still not something that you would want to do.
But coach it’s stuck
Baseballs can get stuck in some strange places. If a ball becomes lodged somewhere around the playing field it is ruled to be a dead ball and the player usually gets a double. Sometimes the ball just goes where it shouldn’t.
When a baseball gets stuck in a catcher or umpires mask, it is funny, and it is a dead ball. All base runners move up one base. The same holds true for the catcher’s and umpire’s other equipment.
Leave them alone and let them go home
Base coaches are there to direct traffic. Teammates are there to cheer you on. Neither of them is on the field to assist a runner around the bases by touching or pushing.
If a runner is deemed by the umpire to have received physical assistance from a coach or player while making their way around the bases, the runner is out.
In the world we live in this can be something as simple as a high five by a base coach or teammate on your way around the bases during a home run trot. Just don’t touch the runner’s until after home plate is touched, and you won’t have to explain to an overzealous umpire or opposing coach that you were not helping the player.
Real baseball time
Now I would like to throw in a couple of rules for the older players. These are two things that can only happen when you start to play real baseball like the big boys. Live ball baseball makes things really interesting.
Catcher’s can balk too?
The first thing I am going to go over is a catcher’s balk. Not a complicated rule but you hardly ever see it.
A catcher’s balk happens only when the pitcher is attempting an intentional walk to a batter. When doing this the catcher must keep both feet in the catcher’s box behind home plate until the pitcher delivers the pitch. If the catcher lines up outside of the catcher’s box or leaves his position before the pitch is delivered it is a balk. The ball is dead and the batter gets a ball added to his count. Any base runner moves up one base.
Fielders can do it too
Next thing is a fielder’s balk. A fielder’s balk happens anytime a defensive player other than the catcher lines up with at least one foot entirely in foul territory while a pitch is being delivered.
An example would be a first baseman holding a runner on at first base. If the first baseman puts one of his feet near the base and the other in foul territory behind them it is a balk and the ball is dead. The batter gets a ball added to their count and any base runners move up one base.
Watch where you are running
This final rule applies to all levels of baseball but I am putting it here because the scenario works with a runner leaving before the ball is hit. You always have to know where the baseball is.
When a base runner not in contact with a base is touched by a batted ball the runner is out if the the ball has not been touched by the pitcher or a fielder and has not passed a fielder other than the pitcher.
An example would be a runner on first takes off for second base. The pitcher delivers the pitch to the plate. The batter hits the pitch up the middle. The
runner begins sliding into second base and gets hit by the ball. The runner is out.
Add it all up
Baseball is a really exciting game when it is played right. In order to play any game right you need to know the rules of the game. I would hope that these three articles about the rules has peaked your interest enough to get you go out and purchase a rule book for whatever level of baseball you are coaching or playing and read it.
The rules that I have gone over here are just some of the interesting things that you will find. I know my rule book is full of highlighted phrases that I use in coaching, playing and teaching the game of baseball.
If you need help locating a rule book leave me a comment or send me an email at email@example.com.