Rule 7 - Batting
Section 1 - POSITION AND BATTING ORDER
7-1-1 Each player of the team at bat shall become the batter and shall take his position within a batter’s box, on either side of home plate, in the order in which his name appears on the lineup card as delivered to the umpire prior to the game (4-1-3). This order shall be followed during the entire game except that an entering substitute shall take the replaced player’s place in the batting order. A batter is in proper order if he follows the player whose name precedes his in the lineup, even though such preceding batter may have batted out of order. An improper batter is considered to be at bat as soon as he is in the batter’s box and the ball is live. When the improper batter’s infraction is first discovered by either team, time may be requested and the improper batter replaced by the proper batter with the improper batter’s ball and strike count still in effect, provided the infraction is detected before the improper batter is put out or becomes a base runner. Only the defensive team may appeal batting out of order after the batter has completed his time at bat. Any outs made on the play stand. An out for batting out of order supersedes an out by the improper batter on a play. While the improper batter is at bat, if a runner advances because of a stolen base, balk, wild pitch or passed ball, such advance is legal.
7-1-2 After the first inning, the first batter in each inning shall be the player whose name follows that of the last batter who completed his time at bat in the preceding inning
PENALTIES For batting out of order (7-1-1 and 7-1-2):
- A batter shall be called out, on appeal, when he fails to bat in his proper turn and another batter completes a time at bat in his place.
- When an improper batter becomes a runner or is put out and the defensive team appeals to the umpire before the first legal or illegal pitch, or, play or attempted play, or prior to an intentional base on balls or before the infielders leave the diamond if a half-inning is ending, the umpire shall declare the proper batter out and return all runners to the base occupied at the time of the pitch.
- When an improper batter becomes a runner or is put out and a legal pitch or illegal pitch has been delivered to the succeeding batter, or an intentional base on balls has occurred, or all infielders have left the diamond if a half inning is ending, and before an appeal is made, the improper batter becomes the proper batter and the results of his time at bat become legal.
- When the proper batter is called out because he has failed to bat in turn, the next batter shall be the batter whose name follows that of the proper batter thus called out.
- When an improper batter becomes a proper batter because no appeal is properly made as above, the next batter shall be the batter whose name follows that of such legalized improper batter. The instant an improper batter’s actions are legalized, the batting order picks up with the name following that of the legalized improper batter.
NOTE: When several players bat out of order before discovery so that a player’s time at bat occurs while he is a runner, such player remains on base, but he is NOT out as a batter.
Section 2 - STRIKES, BALLS AND HITS
7-2-1 A strike is charged to the batter when:
- a pitch enters any part of the strike zone in flight and is not struck at;
- a pitch is struck at and missed (even if the pitch touches the batter);
- a pitch becomes a foul when the batter has less than two strikes;
- a pitch becomes a foul tip (even on third strike) or a foul from an attempted bunt;
- a batter delays (6-2-4d-1 and 7-3-1); or
- A foul ball or a fair hit (which may be a bunt) occurs when a pitch is touched by the bat of the batter who is in his box (2-5-1, 2-16-1, 2).
7-2-2 A ball is credited to the batter when a pitch is not touched by the bat and is not a strike or when there is an illegal pitch (6-1 Penalty, 6-1-4) or pitcher delay (6-2-2c).
7-2-3 A foul ball or a fair hit (which may be a bunt) occurs when a pitch is touched by the bat of the batter who is in his box (2-5-1, 2-16-1, 2).
Section 3 - BATTING INFRACTIONS — A BATTER SHALL NOT:
7-3-1 Delay the game by failing to take his position promptly in the batter’s box within 20 seconds. The batter must keep at least one foot in the batter’s box throughout the time at bat.
EXCEPTION A batter may leave the batter’s box when:
- the batter swings at a pitch,
- the batter is forced out of the box by the pitch,
- the batter attempts a “drag bunt,”
- the pitcher or catcher feints or attempts a play at any base,
- the pitcher leaves the dirt area of the pitching mound or takes a position more than five feet from the pitcher’s plate after receiving the ball,
- a member of either team requests and is granted “Time,”
- the catcher leaves the catcher’s box to adjust his equipment or give defensive signals, or
- the catcher does not catch the pitched ball.
PENALTY: For failure of the batter to be ready within 20 seconds after the ball has been returned to the pitcher, the umpire shall call a strike. If the batter leaves the batter’s box, delays the game, and none of the above exceptions apply, the plate umpire shall charge a strike to the batter. The pitcher need not pitch, and the ball remains live.
7-3-2 Hit the ball fair or foul while either foot or knee is touching the ground completely outside the lines of the batter’s box or touching home plate.
7-3-3 Disconcert the pitcher by stepping from the box on one side of home plate to the box on the other side while the pitcher is in position ready to pitch.
PENALTY: For infraction of Articles 7-3-2 and 7-3-3, the ball becomes dead immediately and the batter is out.
7-3-4 Permit a pitched ball to touch him.
PENALTY: The batter remains at bat (pitch is a ball or strike) unless pitch was a third strike or ball four.
7-3-5 Interfere with the catcher’s fielding or throwing by:
- leaning over home plate,
- stepping out of the batter’s box,
- making any other movement, including follow-through interference, which hinders actions at home plate or the catcher’s attempt to play on a runner, or
- failing to make a reasonable effort to vacate a congested area when there is a throw to home plate and there is time for the batter to move away.
PENALTY: When there are two outs, the batter is out. When there are not two outs and the runner is advancing to home plate, if the runner is tagged out, the ball remains live and interfer ence is ignored. Otherwise, the ball is dead and the runner is called out. When an attempt to put out a runner at any other base is unsuccessful, the batter is out and all runners must return to bases occupied at the time of the pitch. If the pitch is a third strike and in the umpire’s judgment interference prevents a possible double play (additional outs), two may be ruled out (8-4-2g).
7-3-6 If the bat breaks and is hit by the ball or hits a runner or a fielder, no interference shall be called. If a whole bat is thrown and interferes with a defensive player attempting a play, interference will be called.
PENALTY: The batter is out and runners return. If, in the umpire’s judgment, interference prevented a possible double play, two players may be ruled out.
Section 4 - BATTER IS OUT
7-4-1 A batter is also out as in above penalty or when:
- the batter enters the batter’s box with an illegal bat (see 1-3-5) or is discovered having used an illegal bat. If the infraction is discovered before the next pitch following the turn at bat of the player who used an illegal bat, the defense may take the penalty or the result of the play;
- a third strike is not caught, provided a runner occupies first base and there are less than two outs;
1. If there are two outs or if no runner occupies first base, the batter is not out unless the third strike is caught. He is entitled to try to reach first base before being tagged out or thrown out.
- a third strike (7-2) is caught;
- a foul ball (other than a foul tip not a third strike) is caught by a fielder or such catch is prevented by a spectator reaching into the playing area (8-3-3e);
- an attempt to bunt on third strike is a foul;
- any member of the offensive team or coach other than the runner(s) interferes with a fielder who is attempting to field a foul fly ball;
- a team playing with one less than the starting number and that turn to bat is reached;
- he enters the game as an illegal substitute and is discovered; orhe intentionally deflects a foul ball which has a chance of becoming fair.
- he intentionally deflects a foul ball which has a chance of becoming fair.