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Fastpitch Softball Hitting Rule – Hit By Pitch

by Stacie ~ June 2nd, 2010. Filed under: Hawaii Softball, Softball Pitching, Softball Tips, Youth Softball.

Some people think that softball hitters automatically get to go to first base when they get hit by a pitch.  However, that isn’t always true.  The batter must actually make an attempt to get out of the way of the pitch in order to be awarded the base.  Of course, like many other calls in this game, this one depends on the umpires judgment so it’s not always a cut and dry call.

Below is a video clip that shows an example of a batter being hit by a pitch and not being awarded first base.  So remember, when you’re in the box, you must make some sort of move that looks like an attempt to get out of the way of the pitch if you want to be awarded 1st base on a bean.

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Stacie Mahoe shares lessons learned from decades around the diamond. Enjoy her unique insights on softball and life from years as a player, coach, parent, and fan of the game.

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4 Responses to Fastpitch Softball Hitting Rule – Hit By Pitch

  1. Coach Cardona

    Hello Stacie;
    I disagree with that call on not getting firstbase when a BATTER gets hit with a pitch because she has to make an attemp to move on a pitched ball THROWN at her. Im also an IHSA Umpire and the rule states that the BATTER can not INTENTIONALLY get hit by the Pitched ball, there is a difference.

  2. Harry

    That is correct, but to bad we don’t have any umpires that call it.

  3. Dutch Stouffer

    Hmmmmm. Not sure I agree either, with a pitched ball that bounds in the dirt near home plate and then hits the batter.
    Case in point is just this: There is (normally) no way that the batter knows which way the pitched ball will bounce once it hits the ground, some batters “passively” stand still (As they do when an attacking dog might start after them) while others “casually” lift a foot, hoping that the ball doesn’t bounce into them, while still others “aggressively” attempt to skip out of the way of where the ball MIGHT bound. There are other batters who MIGHT appear to not make an effort to avoid the pitched ball, but how is the plate ump supposed to rule on the batter’s intent?
    I submit to you, and any others who might read this, that ANY pitched ball that first hits the dirt near the batter, then hits the batter should be ruled on as a hit batsman and the batter should be awarded first base.
    There is a “significant difference” between a Slo Pitch pitched ball hitting the batter (No Award) and a Fast Pitch pitch hitting the batter. Granted, some Fast-Pitch pitchers have lots of difficulties throwing strikes because of their poor technique and they are unable to generate any speed or control of the ball. But even those pitches (Wild, striking the dirt, slow…slower….slowest) are mostly very unpredictable and unless the batter aggressively, or positively, tries to move to where the ball is “slowly” moving, then she should be awarded first base.
    To “guess” that the batter tried to get hit with the pitched ball is like opening up a can of worms, or to go looking for ants (until you find some, and the here come the elephants stampeding you). why make that trouble for yourself? It’s much, much easier to explain that the bounding ball is unpredictable than it is to try to convince someone that the batter “made no effort” to avoid the pitch.
    Granted, there is a rule stating that “if the batter makes no effort to avoid the pitch” she should not be awarded the base. However, that is a Black and White Rule that begs interpretation. and for the “Black and White” umpires who like to quote the written rules, I’d like to offer this advice: Study the History, Intent, and the proper Application of the rules to a given situation. In other words, let common Sense prevail over rule-book knowledge.
    Bottom Line: Award the batter first base…….99.9% of the time (Allowing for the 0.1% of the times that the batter “may have tried to gain an advantage”, or the minuscule times you need to “invent” a “Mercy-Out.”

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