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Softball/Foul tip vs foul ball

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Question
High school fastpitch. Runner on 1st. New batter. First pitch, runner on 1 attempts to steal second after release of pitch.  Batter swings, ball hits the bat and catcher makes the catch then throws to second. Field umpire makes call of safe at second. Plate umpire shouts foul ball, ball was caught runner is out because sh was tagged. Coach hollers it's a foul tip, runner has to return to first base. Plate umpire ejects the guy and calls for batter to step into the box for the next pitch. Not sure I understand his call.

Answer
Troy,

There are two of us that do not understand the call.

As your subject says, there are only two scenarios available here.  1. A caught "foul tip".  or 2. A caught foul ball.

A "foul tip" is defined as a caught ball that goes directly from touching the bat to the being caught by the catcher.  From a spectators point of view, you probably don't see a change in the flight path of the pitch.

A caught foul ball is a ball that is caught by the catcher that is not a foul tip.  A slight arc, regardless of height would put the ball in this category.

A caught "foul tip" is treated just like a strike.  It is a live ball.  If the ball was a foul tip, the base umpire has it right.  Record a strike on the batter.  If it is a third strike the batter is out.  The runner has stolen second.

If it was a caught foul ball, the batter is out and should not have been put back in the batters box.  The runner that was tagged is not out.  To get the out the ball must be thrown to first and the bag touched by F3 while in possession of the ball.  This actually would be an appeal play for leaving early, before the foul ball was caught.

Tom

Softball

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Tom Mielke

Expertise

Rule and scoring questions for girls/womens Fastpitch Softball. Primarily High School (NFHS) and ASA

Experience

Rec, Varsity and Travel Ball Coach and High School Umpire

Education/Credentials
Michigan High School Athletic Association registered official: Softball, Basketball

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