Is this a strike?

by Robert



10U girls fastpitch softball game, batter has two strikes, ball hits her hand and goes to the backstop. I assume it is a foul ball as hands are part of the bat, umpire calls her out as third strike. Is this the correct call?

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Checking the Rule Book ...
by: Coach Dan

Robert,

This is an excellent question, but you left out a few details. Was the batter swinging when she got hit on the hands? Was she in the strike zone when hit? Here is what I found out:

I found a PDF from e-teamz that was entitled Softball Rules Myth. Low and behold, your situation was the first one covered. Here is what they had to say:

The hands are considered part of the bat. One of the greatest rule myths and I am sure that Jim Booth put this on the top for this reason. If a batter is hit with a pitch on the hands, it is simply a dead ball and the batter is awarded first base. Remember that anytime a batter is hit, it is ALWAYS a dead ball. If the batter is swinging and the ball contacts her hands first, we have a DEAD BALL/ STRIKE. If the ball contacts the batter in the strike zone?same result - if it is the third strike in either of these cases - the batter is out.
See ASA 7-4-G through I, and 8-1-F


So, hands are part of the bat is a myth, depending if the batter was swinging or not. I went to the section highighted above, and found this. Section 8-1-F states:

8-1 The batter becomes a baserunner.
F. When a pitched ball not swung at nor called a strike touches any part of the batter's person or clothing while in the batter's box. It does not matter if the ball strikes the ground before hitting the batter. The batter's hands are not to be considered a part of the bat. EFFECT: The ball is dead. The batter is entitled to one base without liability to be put out. EXCEPTION: If no attempt is made to avoid being hit, the batter will not be awarded first base unless it is ball four. NOTE: If the batter is hit on the hands while swinging at a pitch and hits the ball fair or foul, the ball is dead and a strike is called. If it is strike three, the batter is out.

If the player was swinging when hit on the hands, she is out, and the umpire called it correctly (dead ball, strike). If she was not swinging, and it hit her, it should have been dead ball and batter awarded first base as a hit batter.

Hope this helps,

Dan


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