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An umpire’s call of “ball” or “strike” is final! Team members, according to the rules anyway, are not permitted to object to the decision. The calls that fall into this category include:

1. Whether a pitch is a strike or a ball.

2. Whether a check swing qualifies as a full swing. A full swing would result in a strike.

Other decisions that are up to an umpire’s judgment:

Other decisions in the rule book are also based on judgment. This means the decision is a rule interpretation by the umpire — although these can (and will) be argued.

3. The suitability of the baseballs being used in the game.

4. Weather. The umpire-in-chief determines if a game should continue due to poor weather or poor field conditions. Or, at the end of game one of a double-header, he determines if the second game should be started due to weather or field conditions. The umpire-in-chief also determines if and when a suspended game shall resume, or if it shall be terminated.

5. Forfeit. Whether or not a team should forfeit a game for failing to appear on the field or failing to start play within five minutes of the call of “play.” (The umpire will not declare a forfeit if he feels the delay was unavoidable.)

6. Helmet violation. If a team member does not correct a helmet violation “within a reasonable amount of time.”

Concerning the pitcher

7. Injured substitute pitcher. Whether or not a substitute pitcher, who replaced a pitcher during a batter’s time at bat, is injured before the at-bat is completed, preventing him from pitching and requiring another replacement pitcher for that batter.

8. Quick pitch. Whether the pitcher’s quick movement to step on the pitcher’s rubber and pitch qualifies as a quick pitch (an attempt to pitch before the batter is ready).

9. Ball tampering. Whether the pitcher spit on the ball or tampered with it in any manner.

10. When to issue a pitcher’s first warning. If prior to the start of the game, or during the game, both teams received adequate official warning about pitches being thrown to hit a batter, pitchers can be ejected from the game on the first offense.

11. Hitting the batter. Whether the pitcher intentionally tried to hit the batter with a pitch.

12. Warm-up pitches. If a substitute pitcher will be allowed to take more than eight warm-up pitches.

Concerning the batter

13. Whether a batted ball is fair or foul.

14. Batter interferes with a fielder. Whether a batter who is running to first base, when more than halfway to first, stepped out of the baseline and interfered with a fielder or a throw to first base.

15. Which bases were reached when interference occurred. On a call of interference by the batter, the umpire will determine which bases were reached by the runners before the interference occurred.

16. Interference with the catcher. In a situation in which the batter swung the bat and hit the catcher, if the batter hit him intentionally.

17. Bat tampering. Whether or not a bat has been tampered with.

18. Thrown glove. In a situation where a fielder threw his glove, cap, or other article of clothing at a fly ball, deflecting its path, the umpire determines if the ball would have otherwise been batted out of the field.

19. Whether a batter intentionally interfered with the hit to prevent a double play. If a batter intentionally interfered with a batted ball or a ball that was being fielded, to thwart a double-play, the umpire will call out both the batter and the runner closest to home.

20. Fair or foul. In cases where a batter hits a fly ball near the foul line, and a fielder touches (or catches) the ball before it hits the ground, whether that ball is considered fair or foul. This call depends on the ball’s trajectory, not on whether the fielder himself is in fair or foul territory at the time he touched the ball. (If fair, the ball would remain in play. If foul, the ball would be dead.)

21. Tagging up. Whether or not a runner touched his base after a fly ball was caught. (A runner must be touching, or must retouch, his base after a fly ball is caught before attempting to reach the next base.)

22. Batter’s use of rosin. If because of weather conditions a batter will be allowed to step out of the batter’s box to use rosin or the pine tar rag to improve his grip on the bat.

23. Whether or not the batter interfered with a batted ball either by intentionally throwing his bat at it or dropping the bat in its path.

24. Whether or not a batter or runner intentionally interfered with a ball in play by throwing or dropping his helmet.

Concerning the runner

25. If a runner is safe or out on a force play or a tag.

26. Whether the member of the offensive team tried to get out of the way of the fielder in an Interference situation.

27. Whether a runner intentionally left the baseline and interfered with a fielder making a play on the ball.

28. The bases that were reached by runners, including the batter-runner, at the instant a wild throw was made.

29. The bases that would have been reached had an obstruction not occurred. After a call of obstruction (an act in which a fielder impedes the advance of a batter or runner) the umpire will nullify the effect of the obstruction by awarding bases he believes the runners would have reached.

30. Whether or not a runner has abandoned his base-running effort by walking toward the dugout or his position on the field.

31. If a runner not touching a base interfered with a fielder who was making a play on the ball.

32. If the runner on base intentionally interfered with a fielder who was making a play on the ball.

33. Whether a runner reached the spot that “would have been” occupied by the base when a base has broken away from its designated location.

34. Whether a runner intentionally interfered with either a batted ball, or a ball in play being thrown by a fielder, to thwart a double play. If yes, the umpire will call out both the runner and the batter-runner on this violation.

35. Whether the first base or third base coach physically touched a runner, assisting him in running.

36. Whether a runner intentionally kicked the ball after a fielder missed a play on a batted ball.

Concerning the fielder

37. On a call of obstruction, whether a fielder was “in the act of fielding the ball.”

38. In cases of spectator interference, the bases that the batter and runners would have reached had the interference not occurred. These are the bases they will be awarded.

39. Whether the fielder held onto the ball long enough to be considered a catch in cases where a fielder drops a ball.

40. Whether or not a third out was made before a runner scored at home, meaning the run would not count. If the out was made after the runner scored, the run would count.

41. Whether the infield fly rule applies — specifically, before a fly ball that is hit into the infield lands, the umpire judges whether a fielder will be able to easily catch the ball.

Contact  Northwest Independent Baseball League Duane Wangenheim 866.858.1174

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