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Softball/Slow pitch illegal pitch outcome


Game situation:  1 out, nobody on, 1-2 count

During the delivery, the umpire loudly and clearly calls and indicates the pitch is illegal (arc too high).  The batter swings and foul tips the ball back to the catcher who does not catch the batted ball.

The umpire talks to the batter and calls ball 2.  Naturally, the defense took exception to the call.  The umpire explained that because the pitch was ruled illegal AND struck by the batter, the batter has the choice to take the result of the play, an out, or take a ball, which he chose to do.

The consensus on the sidelines is that the batter put the ball in play at his own peril and must accept the outcome of the play.  Otherwise, there is absolutely no reason to reason not to swing at the illegal pitch.  If you don't like the outcome, you can choose to take the ball and ignore the outcome of the play on the field.

I've been playing for nearly 30 years and I've seen many pitches declared illegal batted for outs.  Never has the umpire given the batter the option he gave the batter last night.

Can you please clarify the ruling?

Hi Curtis,

If this is ASA play and no local rules...this is not a SP rule.  If you swing in SP at a IP it is what it is, you live with it.

This PU might have some FP rules mixed up w/ SP.  That is not an excuse however, you have to know the rules of the game your are umping.

The "P" word should have come out on this one.



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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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