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Guest Coach Nail

HBP but batter isn't awarded 1st

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Last night, in a high school game, a player on my team was hit by a pitch in the right forearm close to the elbow. He started his swing, as all hitters do, but stopped extremely early on in the swing and the bat was nowhere close to being in danger of constituting a swing. (The barrel hadn't even cleared his back side. Naturally, he started jogging to 1st, but the umpire called him back. I go to get an explanation, expecting him to say he swung, the ball was fouled, or another common explanation for why a hit by pitch does not result in the batter being awarded 1st base; instead, the umpire said that because the batter started his swing but was hit by it, the pitch is simply a ball, not a hit by pitch. I asked if he swung at the pitch, and the umpire said no. I asked if the ball his the bat, and he said no. I've never seen this call made in all my years of playing and coaching, and it doesn't seem to make a lot of sense. All good hitters at least start their hips, even if the pitch ends up being a ball or, in this case, a hit by pitch; otherwise, they would never be able to catch up with a good fastball. Is this ruling correct for a high school game?

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Last night, in a high school game, a player on my team was hit by a pitch in the right forearm close to the elbow. He started his swing, as all hitters do, but stopped extremely early on in the swing and the bat was nowhere close to being in danger of constituting a swing. (The barrel hadn't even cleared his back side. Naturally, he started jogging to 1st, but the umpire called him back. I go to get an explanation, expecting him to say he swung, the ball was fouled, or another common explanation for why a hit by pitch does not result in the batter being awarded 1st base; instead, the umpire said that because the batter started his swing but was hit by it, the pitch is simply a ball, not a hit by pitch. I asked if he swung at the pitch, and the umpire said no. I asked if the ball his the bat, and he said no. I've never seen this call made in all my years of playing and coaching, and it doesn't seem to make a lot of sense. All good hitters at least start their hips, even if the pitch ends up being a ball or, in this case, a hit by pitch; otherwise, they would never be able to catch up with a good fastball. Is this ruling correct for a high school game?

As described, no. But history has also shown that descriptions have more than one side.


In HS, the batter is not awarded 1B if he 'permits the pitch to hit him.' The calling umpire may have interpreted this rule in some fashion.
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2 hours ago, Guest Coach Nail said:

the umpire said that because the batter started his swing but was hit by it, the pitch is simply a ball, not a hit by pitch. I asked if he swung at the pitch, and the umpire said no. I asked if the ball his the bat, and he said no.

This explanation alone shouldn't result in a ball call (perhaps you inadvertently left something out). I have kept the batter in the box and called ball on such a play when the batter moved/leaned into the path of the ball not in the strike zone when the pitch would not have hit him absent of him moving into the pitch. 

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What about this statement ?

"  the umpire said that because the batter started his swing but was hit by it, the pitch is simply a ball, not a hit by pitch.  "

Sometimes the umpire is wrong.

 

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