About the Quiz
This is a very simple, ten question “True or False” quick quiz. It is so quick, I have it printed on the back on my Central Maryland Umpires business cards that promote our development workshops. This area of the site also provides explanations to the quiz. So, if your are holding the business card quiz (or received the quiz by other means) this is where the answers get explained.
I believe most of us begin our umpiring experience the same way, by stepping up when no one else will. At least that is how my umpiring began. It began in a relatively low-pressure clinic program. I had played a fair amount of baseball and just used the rules I grew up with and let the kids have fun. Sometimes, there was an odd play or two that left me wondering if I got the call right. That prompted the purchase of my first rule book. I soon found that many of the rules I grew up with were not in the rule book; hhuuummmm?!? Well, that is how I learned the difference between rules and myth.
The following quiz presents ten scenarios that have drawn a lot of questions from a lot of managers. No doubt, the questions deal with rules that they grew up with; luckily, I had already done my homework. Can you distinguish rules from myth – fact from fiction? Answer each of the following statements True or False based on the rules, (Major League – Official Baseball Rules).
1. Batter-runner is out if tagged when he overruns 1st base and turns to his left to return to the bag.
2. Major League rules; two out; bases loaded; dropped third strike. The catcher can get a simple force play on the runner coming home instead on throwing to 1st base.
3. Runners trying to steal, must return to the base they occupied, (prior to the pitch), on a foul tip.
4. An improper batter, upon appeal, is declared out after he bats out-of-order.
5. The batter cannot be called out for interference as long as he is in the batter’s box.
6. Batter is out if he bats the ball with his foot touching home plate.
7. Pitcher must break contact with the pitching rubber before throwing to pick-off a runner.
8. On a throw made by a fielder that goes out-of-play, base runners get the base they were going to, plus one.
9. A catch is adjudged by the fielder holding the ball long enough to show that possession and control has been established.
10. A base runner touched by a fair batted ball (not deflected) is automatically out.
1. FALSE. A batter-runner cannot be tagged out after overrunning or over sliding first base if he returns immediately to the base. ( ref. EXCEPTION: Rule 7.08(c) ). There is no reference to turning left or right: the act of turning, by itself, is not an attempt to advance.
Rule: 7.08(j) adds that if he makes an attempt to run to second, he is out when tagged. An attempt to run can be any quick motion toward second base and is a judgment made by the umpire. That quick motion can occur regardless of the direction the batter-runner turns and at any time prior to reaching first base.
2. TRUE. Because the batter becomes a runner in this situation (Rule: 6.09(b) ), all runners lose the right to occupy their base and are forced to advance. A play on any of those runners is a force play so the catcher could execute a simple force at home.
3. FALSE. A foul-tip is a pitch that tips the bat and is fielded (usually in foul territory) but differs from a foul ball. (Refer to Rule 2:00 Definition s and Terms, FOUL TIP and FOUL BALL.) A foul-tip is a pitch that slightly grazes the bat and goes sharp and direct to the catcher’s glove or hand and is caught. A foul-tip is a strike (if that strike is the third strike the batter is out) and the ball remains live.
4. FALSE. The scheduled batter shall be called out, upon appeal, when he fails to bat in his proper turn, and another batter completes a time at bat in his place. Rule: 6.07(a). (Also see Facts and Figures page, Batting Out of Turn, for additional information).
5. FALSE. In situations where the catcher has to make a throw, the batter is better off staying in the batter’s box but that does not immunize him from being called for interference. The catcher expects the batter to be in the batter’s box and usually plans his throws around the batter. On this type of play, any intentional or unusual motion in the batter’s box or stepping out of it can cause interference.
Whenever there is a runner on third base the batter must be alert and aware of what is going on. The batter’s team may be attempting to push a run home and any interference, intentional or not, will jeopardize that effort. Examples I have seen are batters interfering or swinging at a fielder’s (the pitcher) throws home on an outright steal attempt and the batter’s presence in the batter’s box interfering with a play at the plate on a passed ball. Rules: 2.00 INTERFERENCE, 6.06(c)
6. FALSE. The Official Baseball Rules (Pro rules) make no specific mention of home plate in this regard. The batter is out for illegal action when he hits the ball (either fair or foul) with one or both feet on the ground entirely outside the batter’s box. A foot touching any portion of the batter’s box (including the batter’s box line) is not outside the batter’s box. The distance between the batter’s box and home plate is six inches, (Little League is four inches). A batter’s foot could very well touch the batter’s box and home plate at the same time. Rule: 6.06(a). NFHS (High School, which tends to change frequently) and NCAA may vary.
7. FALSE. From either the Wind-up or Set position the pitcher may 1) deliver the ball to the batter; 2) disengage the rubber; or 3) step and throw to a base in an attempt to pick-off a runner. (Rule 8.01(a) CASEBOOK). (Note: when a pitcher legally disengages the pitching rubber he is no longer the pitcher, he is a fielder. On wild throws (pick-offs) by a pitcher that goes out-of-bounds, runners advance one base. Wild throws by fielders have other awards that are usually two bases, as described in 7.05(g).)
8. FALSE. The baseball myth of base runners getting “the base they were going to, plus one” is the slow pitch softball version of the rule. (Under that rule, if the runner is retreating to 1st base on the throw, he gets 1st base plus one, that is second base.) In baseball the runners are awarded two bases from the last base legally acquired either at the time of the pitch or time of the throw. If the throw is the first play of an infield the award is from the time of the pitch otherwise it is the time of the throw. Rule: 7.04(g) and CASEBOOK.
9. FALSE. There are two primary elements that must be adjudged in order to validate a catch; 1) the fielder must hold the ball long enough to prove he has complete control of the ball, and 2) the release of the ball must be voluntary and intentional. Rule: 2.00 CATCH.
The definitive example is that if a center fielder grabs a fly ball in his glove, crashes into a wall and falls unconscious with the ball in his glove; it is not yet a catch. If another fielder arrives and intentionally removes the ball from the unconscious fielders glove, the catch is now completed.
10. FALSE. A base runner is not out if the batted ball touches him after the ball passes an infielder, provided no other infielder has a chance to make a play. (If the ball was touched or deflected by the first infielder, the runner is not out regardless of an opportunity by a second infielder.) Rule: 7.08(f). (Note: outstanding reference and examples, N.A.P.B.L. Umpire Manual, Section 4.5).
So, how did you do?
If you got nine or more correct and live in the Central Maryland area, consider umpiring with us.
Six, seven or eight correct shows an above average understanding of the rules.
Less than six, its time to hit that rule book.
Regardless of your score, if your want to learn more, look into hosting or attending one of our training workshops.
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