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I know the rule was changed in 06.   Still having a difficult time with it.   Can you explain the difference with 1 and 2 strikes, and with the change of direction language?  Thank you for your time.

Hi Zach,

very little changed and  it only pertains to a "foul tip" and not the def of a "foul ball"

A "foul tip" must go "sharply and directly" from the bat to the catcher's hand or glove and then is caught.  It is a strike, w/ 1 strike, strike 2 and w/ 2 strikes it is an out.

If the ball after leaving the bat has a perceptible arc or if the catcher has to move their glove to catch the ball it is not a foul tip but a foul ball.

It used to be the height of the batter's head in regard to a "foul tip" (NOT A FOUL BALL!) On a rise ball and an attempted bunt above their head (or something similar)it can now be a foul tip even if it goes above the batter's head provided the catcher is moving up on the pitch and the ball goes sharply and directly to the glove.

Sharp and direct to the glove or hand, "foul tip" anything else "foul ball", that's about it.  From ASA RS 22 "Umpires only need to judge whether the ball moves from the bat “sharply” and “directly” versus a ball that has a perceptible arc and / or if the catcher moves their glove / mitt to catch the ball after contact with the bat."

Read RS 22 and if you have any more qs, please ask.



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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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