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Stump the Ump: Myths of the Game

MYTH #1: “The base coach touched the runner.  The runner is out.”

This is a judgment call by the umpire. If the coach obviously and intentionally physically stops a runner or helps him/her up after falling the runner is out.  The base coach’s touch must be judged as assisting that runner for this to be called an out.  Merely touching him/her as he/she goes by or making an incidental touch as the runner is stopping is not grounds for an out call. See Rule 7.09(h).

MYTH #2: “Half of the batter’s foot was outside the box when he/she hit the ball.  He/she’s out.”

A batter is out when he/she makes contact with a pitch when his/her foot is ENTIRELY outside the lines of the batter’s box.  He/she is out on either a fair or foul ball.  The ball is dead.  He/she is NOT out if he/she swings and misses or if he/she does not swing.  See Rule 2.00 ILLEGALLY BATTED BALL and Rule 6.06(a).

MYTH #3: “The batted ball hit the plate first, that’s a foul ball.”

Home plate is positioned between the first and third base foul lines; meaning it is in fair territory. Therefore, a ball that hits home plate and bounds into fair territory, or comes to rest upon it, is a fair ball.  All bases are in fair territory therefore any batted ball that touches a base is considered a fair ball, regardless of where it bounces after touching the base.  See Rule 2.00 FAIR BALL and FAIR TERRITORY.