Delay Dead Ball
In some situations, when a violation occurs and is recognized by an umpire, play cannot be stopped to issue a ruling because the ball must remain live. These are called DELAY DEAD BALL situations. When they happen, the calling umpire gives the delay dead ball signal and waits for the action to stop before suspending play.
Penalties for delay dead ball situations can be either with or without an option given to the offended coach.
If the situation is addressed by a rule which does not give the offended coach an option, the calling umpire shall apply the appropriate penalty. If the situation is addressed by a rule that gives the offended coach an option of either the results of the play or a stated penalty, the umpires shall meet to decide on the choices to be offered to the offended coach. The home plate umpire will then bring both coaches together to explain the options to the offended coach. If both the offensive and defensive coaches are to be offered penalty options from which to choose, the home plate umpire, after consultation with the entire officiating crew, shall address the violations with both coaches in the order in which they occurred. If one of the violations involves leaving a base early, that violation should be ignored initially and other violations should be assessed the appropriate penalty in the order in which they occurred. The penalty for the last violation becomes the first option. The second option is the traditional penalty for leaving a base early. The defensive coach must choose one of these options.
DELAY DEAD BALL – NO OPTION
1. Obstruction caused by detached equipment
When the ball in play is contacted by the detached equipment, delay dead ball is signaled. If the ball was pitched, each base runner is awarded one base from the base occupied at the time of the pitch. If the ball was thrown, each base runner is awarded 2 bases, and if the ball was batted each base runner is awarded 3 bases. If the ball was prevented from clearing a home run fence by the detached equipment, the batter and all base runners are awarded home plate. (Rule 9.5.4)
2. Umpire interference on a steal or pickoff
Interference is canceled if the base runner is ruled out as a result of the catcher’s initial throw. If not, the ball is immediately ruled dead and all runners return to the base legally occupied at the time of the pitch. (Rule 188.8.131.52)
3. Fielder positioning in runner’s line of vision to intentionally distract her or prohibit her from seeing the release of the pitch.
The runner and her coach are warned when first noticed by the umpire. Subsequent violations of this rule by the same player shall result in a one base award to the base runner. (Rule 184.108.40.206, 220.127.116.11)
4. Pitching position
The pitcher may not assume the pitching position without possession of the ball or simulate the pitching position with or without possession of the ball when near the pitcher’s plate. Illegal pitch. (Rule 10.1.3)
5. Illegal pitch
An illegal pitch is one that violates one or more of the pitching rules.
If the ball is not released or released by the pitcher but not contacted by the batter, the standard penalty for an illegal pitch shall be enforced (Rule 10.8)
DELAY DEAD BALL – OPTION GIVEN TO OFFENDED COACH
In each of the situations that follow, the offended coach is given a choice of the result of the play or the offending player is called out with all runners returning to the base or bases occupied at the time of the pitch, unless otherwise noted.
6. Batter may not step from one batter’s box to the other, directly in front of the catcher while the pitcher is in the pitching position (Rule 11.20.2)
7. Retired batter (or batter-runner) may not interfere with a defensive player attempting to make a play on another runner (Rule 11.20.3)
The offended coach is given the choice of the result of the play or calling the runner closest to home plate out
8. Batter may not release her bat so that it hits the catcher and prevents her from making a play or throw her bat with force so that it interferes with any defensive player attempting to make a play (Rules 18.104.22.168 and 22.214.171.124)
9. Batter may not throw her bat to potentially endanger anyone not making a play
The offending team is warned for the first violation. For the second and subsequent violations by the warned team, the option is given to the offended team. (Rule 126.96.36.199)
10. Catcher’s obstruction (preventing a batter from making contact with a pitch)
The penalty, if chosen, is to award the batter first base and charge an error to the catcher. (Rule 9.4.2)
11. Fielder obstruction
Without possession of the ball, a fielder may not impede a runner, intentionally alter the course of the ball, fake a tag or obstruct a runner during a rundown. An obstructed runner is awarded the bases she would have made if no obstruction occurred. Subsequent violation by the same individual may result in a one base award to the obstructed runner. (Rule 9.5.3)
12. Flagrant player obstruction
Fielders may not flagrantly impede runners or use excessive force to push a runner off her occupied base. After the appropriate obstruction effect is enforced, the offender is immediately ejected. (Rule 188.8.131.52)
13. The batter may not hinder a defensive player from making a play while outside of the batter’s box or may not intentionally hinder the defensive player while in the batter’s box.
The defensive team shall choose the result of the play or the batter declared out. However, if there is a base runner attempting to advance to home with fewer than 2 outs, the base runner (rather than the batter) is out. If the catcher is not attempting to make a play on a baserunner and the throwback to the circle is interfered, the ball is dead and all runners return to the position they had when the prior pitch was thrown. (Rule 11.20.2, 11.20.3)
14. Baserunner leaving a base early.
The choice for the defensive coach is the result of the play or the base runner declared out and “no pitch” declared by the umpire. (Rule 12.6.2)