Valuable Rules for Unusual Problems

The Rules

The plate umpire has the authority to make decisions on any situations not specifically covered in the rules. (

The umpire shall not impose an effect on a team for any infractions of a rule when imposing the effect would be an advantage to the offending team. (4.10.5)

The umpires are empowered to rectify any situations in which a delayed call or a reversal of a call places a player in undue jeopardy. (7.3.5)

Case Book Plays

PLAY: On a fly ball to right field which is eventually caught, the batter-runnerrounding first base is obstructed by the first baseman, #14. A warning for rounding obstruction is issued to #14. Later in the game, #14 again
obstructs the batter-runner rounding first on a caught fly ball to center field.

RULING: The effect for Rule says a subsequent violation after a warning for rounding obstruction by the same individual results in a one-base award to the obstructed runner. However, Rule allows for an obstructed batter-runner running to first base to still be called out when they hit a fly ball that is caught. The intent of Rule is to prevent runners from being needlessly hindered rounding a base, preventing them from running in their desired path and reading the play to decide whether to advance. In this play, the batter-runner is not hindered from advancing since the fly ball is caught, and the plate umpire will rule the batter-runner out on the catch and the subsequent obstruction is ignored.

PLAY: With base runners on first and second bases, the batter bloops a pitch into short center field. The center fielder dives, and as they catch the ball on their shoe tops, the base umpire calls the batter out. Immediately, the center fielder hits the ground, and the ball rolls out of their glove, causing the umpire to reverse the call, declaring no catch. Both base runners returned to their bases on the out call and are now in undue jeopardy of being out on the force plays.
RULING: The umpire shall award the base(s) as deemed appropriate.

PLAY: Bases loaded with no outs and a 3-2 count on the batter when the plate umpire calls the next pitch a ball. The defensive team appeals a checked swing and when all the other runners are moving up on what appears to be a base on balls, the base umpire confirms the swing which results in the batter being declared out. The runners are now all off their bases and the runner from third base is tagged out advancing home.
RULING: Although the batter is out on strikes, the runners are placed back on their original bases and no runners are declared out. The umpires may rectify a situation where the reversal of an umpire decision or a delayed dead ball by an umpire places a batter-runner, a runner or the defensive team in jeopardy. In this case, an award of first base. This does NOT apply when there is a misapplication of a playing rule, but when a reversal or delayed call puts a team in
jeopardy, there is relief.