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Softball/On deck circle equipment.


Hi Mark,

The question I have was a call that was made at a 10U game.  Our players were swinging a weighted bat to warm-up while in the on-deck circle.  The umpire said that the bat was not allowed in circle unless both bats were in their hand.  I can't seem to find anything in the rules about equipment in the on-deck circle, but I've always seen & used weights, weighted bats, pine-tar, etc.. and left them in the on-deck circle for the next batter, making sure they remained inside the circle.
What would be the proper ruling on this issue?


Hi Jeff,

we don't allow equipment of any kind to be left or unattended in the on deck circle.  Actually the on deck circle provides no protection of any kind either to the on deck batter or equipment simply because it is in the "circle"

Equipment left there is considered offensive equipment not involved in the game and should a thrown ball hit the equipment it would be a blocked ball.  An on deck batter even in the circle could cause a blocked ball or even an interference call.

The umpire was actually helping you by preventing any problems that could certainly occur and penalize the offense, especially at this level.



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Dr. Mark R. Ambrose


I can answer all questions about book rules and "case book" rules governing the playing of ASA softball. Have a REAL situation that happened and are not sure the proper rule was applied, ask me.


I am a registered ASA umpire, a MASA "At-Large" umpire since 1996 and a retired District Umpire-In-Chief. I have very extensive experience in MASA State Championship and ASA national qualifying tournament play both as an umpire and an Umpire-In-Chief. I completed 3 ASA National Schools including the ASA national advanced umpire school in Ok City("Bernie" for those who know him was the lead clinician, I survived the week and couldn't let my kids watch the game tapes when I got home. No, I love you Bernie). I was one of 4 "Yankee" umpires selected to umpire the Men's D National East Championship in 2002 in Winter Haven FL

Amateur Softball Association (The authority in softball)

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