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sthomas13100

Illegal Bat

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Had some drama yesterday, doing 13 major USSSA game.  Bases loaded with 1 out, batter hits deep sac fly to center field, R3 tags up and scores and all other runner advance to tie up the game.  Pitcher backing up the throw, picks up the bat and bring it to me, a huge flat spot on the bat.  Confer with my partner, we call the batter out for illegal bat and return all runner TOP.  I mainly do FED/HS, was not sure about my ruling, opposing team protests and it takes our UIC about 15 min to get there.  He states the defensive coach can takes the result of the play OR batter is out and all runners return.  I found OBR 6.03 (a) (5) and read some USSSA specific rules, USSSA was no help, poorly written.  OBR reference backs my decision, but does not specifically make reference to a dented bat (obviously).

Looking for some insight, any help would be appreciated.

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2 minutes ago, sthomas13100 said:

Had some drama yesterday, doing 13 major USSSA game.  Bases loaded with 1 out, batter hits deep sac fly to center field, R3 tags up and scores and all other runner advance to tie up the game.  Pitcher backing up the throw, picks up the bat and bring it to me, a huge flat spot on the bat.  Confer with my partner, we call the batter out for illegal bat and return all runner TOP.  I mainly do FED/HS, was not sure about my ruling, opposing team protests and it takes our UIC about 15 min to get there.  He states the defensive coach can takes the result of the play OR batter is out and all runners return.  I found OBR 6.03 (a) (5) and read some USSSA specific rules, USSSA was no help, poorly written.  OBR reference backs my decision, but does not specifically make reference to a dented bat (obviously).

Looking for some insight, any help would be appreciated.

Was the bat dented prior to the AB?  Do you KNOW that it was?  If it wasn't it was legal.  Maybe this AB dented the bat. Hmmmm.   You're on shaky ground.  

And 6.03(a )(5) has no manager's option.  (USSSA may have one in their specific rules)

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Rich, understand that we don't know when it was dented, but in FED it doesn't matter as long as it is discovered before the next pitch. That was the exact argument the offensive HC made. FED rules 7-4-1 a does state exactly what the UIC said and FED 1-3-5 defines an illegal bat. 

I am admitting that I am not as familiar with USSSA modifications.

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1.3.5 SITUATION D: The first baseman hits a home run with the bases empty using a bat that, while
otherwise legal, has a small crack in the barrel. The plate umpire notices the crack: (a) as the batter
enters the box; or (b) when the defense complains before the next pitch that it is an illegal bat. RULING:
In (a), the bat is illegal upon detection as the head coach had verified that all equipment was legal. The
first baseman is declared out and the penalties of 4-1-3b are applied to the head coach. In (b), the home
run stands. The bat will be removed from the game. If the same bat were subsequently to be used later
in the game, it would be subject to the illegal bat rule. NOTE: In (a), if the plate umpire feels that the
damage to the bat was done during the course of play during that game, the bat may be removed from
the game, and replaced with no penalty to the offense. If the same bat were subsequently used later in
the game, it would be subject to the illegal bat rule.

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I might not have described it well enough, huge flat spot as I saw it had to have occurred by more than just this at bat.  7-4-1 Sit D if this occurred under Fed. 

Looking for the OBR with USSSA mods.

But thanks for above case, not sure I've read that note before, good stuff.  Thanks for the info.

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This is from the USSSA rule book (as found by google):

7.01.C Effective January 1st, 2018 All 14U players must use a maximum
drop 5 (-5) bat with the official USSSA 1.15 BPF Mark permanently
stamped. (Chart 7.01.C-1)
All bats for scholastic divisions ages 15U to 18U they must
conform to the National Federation of High School Associations
(NFHS) bat standards including a length to weight ratio no greater
than negative three (-3) ounces. These bats must be permanently
stamped with the BBCOR.50 Certified Mark or made of wood and
manufactured by a licensed USSSA manufacturer.
7.01.C.1 In all Super NIT Events, 14 Majors must use BBCOR
or wood bats only.
Rule 7.01.C Penalty: (First Offense) – If the Umpire discovers
that a bat does not conform to USSSA Rule 7.01.C until a time
during or after which the bat has been used in play, it shall not be
grounds for declaring the batter out and / or ejection from the
game. If the Umpire discovers that a bat has been used to put a
ball in play and before the next legal pitch, the defensive team shall
have the choice of the result of play or the batter being called out and all runners returning to the base occupied at the time
of the pitch. (Second Offense) – If a team is found in violation of this rule a second time, then the manager shall be ejected
in addition to the First Offense penalty.

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2 hours ago, sthomas13100 said:

Rich, understand that we don't know when it was dented, but in FED it doesn't matter as long as it is discovered before the next pitch. That was the exact argument the offensive HC made. FED rules 7-4-1 a does state exactly what the UIC said and FED 1-3-5 defines an illegal bat. 

I am admitting that I am not as familiar with USSSA modifications.

You weren't playing FED rules.

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My $.02 on this... I agree with @Rich Ives...

Unless that bat is dented all over, and obviously illegal and not from that one at bat, I am not reading any additional info into the fact the bat is damaged. It was not detected prior to the AB, so I am not considering it illegal prior to, but I am now aware of the issue and will consider it illegal from here on. 

Depending on the rule set, I will enforce the penalty as required by that groups instructions. To me this is more than a FED/OBR/whatever issue, but how to review and then react to the issue when presented. You cannot know for sure that any damage did not just happen, so why try and read that into the discovery?

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