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Question about blocking home plate…

Know these are a - had to be there type questions.

Runner is approaching home plate and begins his slide – catcher has his left foot in front of the plate and a half second later after the runner slides the catcher receives the ball and makes the tag.  Is the catcher illegally blocking the plate?   

Same question except that  the catcher receives the ball before the slide.  Can the catcher block all access to the plate if he has the ball before the runner begins his slide?

Another question

Batter slings the bat into the catcher – is there a rule with ASA that allows a warning and then on next infraction with the same batter an out is called.

If so – is it a dead ball, batter out and all runners return to last base occupied?

If no rule and it is a league rule – would it be expected to be ruled as - dead ball, batter out and all runners return to last base occupied

thank you

Hi KW,

The simple rule for the 1st 2 is in ASA and most other orgs (not all) no defensive player can block the base and hinder the runner w/out possession of the ball.  In ASA "about to receive the ball" doesn't matter.  So in #1 it probably is obstruction (WHTBT) and in #2 not.

In ASA there is no rule for unintentional throwing of the bat.  However I'm not going to allow the catcher or myself to be put in constant danger of being hurt.  (A thrown bat years ago by an inexperienced player in coed broke my left kneecap).  I might "unofficially" warn the batter afterwards and if it continues they might have to leave the game.

league rules are just that league rules, if that's what it says, that's what the penalty is.



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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

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