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QUESTION: Coach starts the game with a dp and Flex. 10 people on the roster. third inning coach wants a bench player to come into the game and run for his dp who hit and reached base.  1. has initial dp then left and game and can reenter once? 2. coming into the game to run, does the new runner have to go on defense for a half inning after their turn at bat is over.?  Does this make sense.  Thanks

ANSWER: Hi Steve,

A DP is just like any other player in the batting order (although they do some other things)  What you have here is simply a legal substitution just like any other batter who reached base and the coach wanted to put a runner in.

The substitute is now the DP and they assume all the responsibilities of the DP.  The original player has left the game and may re-enter once at the same spot in the BO.  The sub for the DP if removed can also reenter once at the same spot.

No the sub (now the DP) can be removed at any time just like any other sub.

Just as a little extra, the FLEX could also run for the DP but the DP is still out of the game, the game is now down to 9.  The DP could then re-enter once at the same spot and the FLEX move back to 10th.  This strategy does not affect the FLEX ONLY in any way, they are not considered to have left the game or have used a substitution.


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QUESTION: Mark, this happened in a high school softball game the other day.  Red team is a bat with people on first and second with TWO outs.  The field has flimsy plastic temporary outfield fences. Red batter hits a high long ball to center field.  Center fielder is backpeddeling. Center fielder reaches up and makes the catch at the apparent same time her back hits the fence.  Her momentum  causes her to go through the fence, loosing her balance and falling down, still in control of the ball.  Umpire signals, legal catch, the inning is over.  The offensive coach wants him to call it a home run.  I described it as best I could, I wish you could have actually seen the play.  What would be the right call with what I told you.  Thanks!

ANSWER: Hi Steve,

In ASA play the fence is considered an extension of the field.  Even if she knocked down the fence and was standing or lying on it when she made the catch, we have an out.

Fed is  little different, the above is not true and the bottom of the fence defines live and dbt.  However a leaning fence is still lbt until it lays on the ground.

In both sets, if her momentum took her from lbt into dbt as long as the catch was complete before she entered dbt we have an out.

"Her momentum  causes her to go through the fence, loosing her balance and falling down, still in control of the ball."  This is IMO a legal catch and an out.  


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Mark, a high school softball game. Batter swings and misses with already 2 strikes on her.  The catcher drops the ball. Batter didn't notice catcher dropped it but took two steps up the line at the prodding of her teammates. Upon looking back to see where the ball was batter actually thinking it's all over anyway turns toward home plate and takes a step that way (backwards)! Catcher throws the ball down to first and the ball goes off the first basemen's glove and down the foul line. Again, at her teammates urging, the battle turns AGAIN toward first and runs safely to first. What a mess! The defensive coach wants time and argues that seeing that she turned toward her dugout and took a step in that retreating direction, she should be called out.  Hope this makes sense, wish you were there to see it.  Thanks, Steve

Hi Steve,

I follow it, no problem.

"The defensive coach wants time and argues that seeing that she turned toward her dugout and took a step in that retreating direction," what..... "she should be called out."...under what rule????  Coach needs to read the rule book!



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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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