Dropped third strike

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  • Can someone get me to the rule section for dropped third strike other than 6.05(b)(2)?

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  • @Rick What else are you looking for.

  • a dropped strike is just that not a bounce strike that the batter swings, bounces then catcher catches it? also if the batter goes out of baseline is she not out. meaning a batter can drop the bat and run thats it correct? there are some many interpurtations of this rule.


  • "Dropped third strike" is a misnomer. It's really "uncaught third strike".

    To qualify as caught, the catcher has to catch it in flight. If it bounces it's not caught and if the other parameters are OK the batter can attempt to go to first.

    Hope this helps.

  • what rule is that for future reference. also what about not running to the base?

  • Look at the definition of Strike in rule 2. That should help with part of your question.

  • Look at the definition of Ball in 2.00 also

  • I did neither address these issues. On a 2 strike count the ball bounces in front of the plate the ball is caught by the catcher. This to me is not a third drop strike and the batter should not be able to advance to second base. My second issue is on third strike the batter walks towards third base dug out clearly out of base line to drop the bat not realizing she could advance. The coaches instruct her to run. This should be dead ball the batter is out?

  • See the definition of "catch" and "in flight."

  • thanx ryan the in flight does it for the strike any ideas on if the batter does not proceed directly to 1 st on a dropped strike?

  • I can speak about baseball rules only, but Little League follows pro interpretations. Under a relatively recent change in pro interpretation, the batter is out as soon as he leaves the dirt area around the plate, unless he is doing so to advance.

  • The runner can really make their own base line. If they head towards third and then to first, the runner is taking the "scenic route".....catcher just needs to throw to first for an easy out or tag the runner. If the catcher runs up the 3rd baseline to tag the batter-runner, and the BR starts changing direction by more than 3 ft., then they should be called out for running out of the baseline.

    With LL, once the batter gets into the dugout on a dropped 3rd strike (which can happen, as they may not realize it's a dropped/uncaught 3rd strike), then you have an out. Once you understand the rule, there is only one interpretation.

  • ok now I am confused,,, so a ball that bounces in front of the plate, is swung at and missed by the batter but is caught by the catcher is a dropped third strike?

  • Yes. As stated earlier, dropped 3rd is the term used, but is not a good term. The "strike" has to be caught "in flight". Once the ball hits the ground, it's no longer "in flight", even though the catcher caught it after the bounce.

  • thanks John,,, I looked it up in the RIM also:

    IN FLIGHT describes a batted, thrown, or pitched ball, which has not yet touched the ground or some

    object other than a fielder. If the pitch touches the ground and bounces through the strike zone, without being

    struck at by the batter, it is a "ball". If such a pitch touches the batter, that batter shall be awarded first base.

    JUNIOR/SENIOR/BIG LEAGUE – If the batter swings at such a pitch after two strikes, the ball cannot be

    caught for the purpose of Rule 6.05(b). If the batter hits such a pitch, the ensuing action shall be the same as if

    the ball was hit in flight.

    “The Right Call” Casebook -- A ball must pass through the strike zone in flight to be a strike. Any pitched ball that touches the ground

    and bounces through the strike zone is called a ball. A pitched ball that bounces and hits the batter is a dead ball and the batter is

    awarded 1st base.


    ⇒ A batted fly ball that is deflected over the fence shall be ruled a home run, since, by definition, it left the playing field “in


    ⇒ In Juniors, Seniors & Big League, a third strike pitch that is “short-hopped” by the catcher is considered to be not

    caught “in flight”. In cases where the runner would be able to run to first, he/she must be retired to be out.

  • You're welcome, Paul. Luckily, it's something we don't see too often, but when we see it, we need to know how to react and rule.

    I've seen a lot of things on baseball/softball fields, so I've had the chance to learn a lot and want to learn more....this is a great place for that.

  • truthfully, I have seen this but never called it and neither did the coaches or batter, that is why I got confused. lol

  • @Ryan, the pro interpretation of leaving the dirt circle around home plate does not apply in LL. As John mentioned, the batter may still advance to first base until he/she enters the dugout or other dead-ball area.

  • thanks to all this makes more sense. Wish they would make a detailed spefic rule for a dropped third strike instead of piecing it all together.

  • There are a lot of times you need to piece rules toghther to find the proper ruling. It would be a monumental task to try to create a complete detailed rule for every possible situation and result in a HUGE rule book.

  • Question for you guys. I coach 15-17 yr olds. I had an umpire call the third strike caught and called the batter out. My catcher in turn, tries to throw out the advancing runner at 3rd. After the play and a dead ball situation, the opposing manager asks if the ball was caught or short hopped. The fielding umpire, said the ball hopped and awarded the batter first base. Is that a correct ruling?

  • @ Douglas....we'll need more information:

    *How many outs?

    *What bases had runners at the start of the pitch?

    *What did the batter do after the 3rd strike call?

    *What happened with the runner advancing to 3rd?

    To start, it sounds like the plate up had a "caught 3rd strike", but after the call was questioned, the umpires got together and determined it was an "uncaught 3rd strike". Balls that get short-hopped to the catcher can be hard for the plate umpire to tell if the catcher caught it in the air or after a bounce.

  • Well, first and foremost, what did the batter do after the third strike? If he went into the dugout, it doesn't matter what happened afterward. He lost his opportunity to advance to first base when he entered dead ball territory, so the out stands.

    That said, the base umpire cannot unilaterally change his partner's call! What should have happened is that the opposing manager should have asked the plate umpire (because it was his call to make) if he would check with his partner. The plate umpire could check or not; it's really his option. But if he did, and the base umpire convinced him that the ball was indeed not caught, the plate umpire could decide to change his call and leave the batter at first base (assuming he didn't enter the dugout as I mentioned previously), or he could stay with his original call. Again, it's his call, so he can certainly choose either option.

    From a crew perspective, bad on both umpires. When the situation warrants a possible uncaught third strike, the umpires should have worked out a mechanic during their pre-game so that the base umpire can assist the plate umpire in determining if the pitch was indeed caught or not. I ask my base umpire partner to give me a subtle signal (closed fist if caught, finger pointing down if not) on every third strike where the batter could advance should the pitch be uncaught. No way should the base umpire not inform his partner when he sees a pitch that skips in the dirt on the third strike!

    BTW, since there was a runner on second base heading for third, the base umpire (assuming there was only one) is going to be behind the pitcher on the shortstop side of second base. I kinda wonder if he really had a good look at the pitch being short-hopped by the catcher.

  • Thanks Manny.

    John, runner on second, 1 out and it took so long to develop and for them to decide on the short hop the player had entered the dugout. they called him out and awarded him first. the runner stealing third was safe. But, it seems the retreating third strike batter would have been interference also. lol.

    I just shook my head and went back to coaching...... Sometimes you get a crew like this.

  • Interference? How?

  • Interference by stepping out of the batters box and into the direction of the play at third, blocking the throw from my catcher.

  • No way. Time to protest. The batter entered the dugout, so he lost his opportunity to take first.

    If it was so obvious a short-hop that the base umpire could see it, so could the two base coaches. One of them should have yelled to the batter, "RUN! HE DIDN'T CATCH IT!" to prevent the batter from leaving the field of play. You can argue all you want that the plate umpire's call is what caused the batter to enter the dugout, but there is no legal fix to that, and the base coaches are out there to prevent it.

  • I dunno. If the umpires say's "Batter's out" , and he goes in the dugout, that's what he's supposed to do. I could see putting him on first.

    That said, catchers should tag batters if there's any doubt.

  • Good Call Kyle. I was excited that my catcher had the presence of mind to hear the out call and try to get the guy stealing third. But, better to get one than get none!

  • Dumb Question but in Little League @ 8 years old, can the batter take off for first on an uncaught third strike?

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