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Yankeetilidie

Number of Batters Warming Up

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What is the rule regarding the number of players that can be out of the dugout warming up/timing a new pitcher? I have seen whole teams out of the dugout swinging during the first inning and when a new pitcher comes in. I have never gotten a clear answer. This is for USSSA baseball. Thank you in advance.

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USSSA baseball is played using Official Baseball Rules (OBR). And according to the 2016 Baseball Rules Differences by Carl Childress there is no OBR rule or interpretation that covers your question about players out of the dugout during dead ball situations. All three codes do have a rule or an interpretation telling us that a batter cannot warm up anywhere near the catcher during warmup pitches from his pitcher.

There are, however, a couple of case plays from high school showing that their players are allowed out of the dugout during at least a couple of dead ball situations-- 

2020 NFHS Case Book play 3.3.1 Situation BBB:  Between innings, the non-playing players of Team A run in foul territory toward the outfield fence to stay loose. The coach of Team B protests that this is not legal and is delaying the contest. RULING:  The coach of Team B is incorrect. It is legal provided this activity does not delay the start of the next half-inning.

2020 NFHS play 3.3.1 SITUATION AAA:  A player from Team A (who has been previously warned) hits a 3-run home run out of the field of play and wins the game by one run. The teammates of Team A rush out of the dugout and excitedly cheer for their teammate.The coach from Team B wants the players' violation of the rule to be the second violation and have the game forfeited to Team B because Team A failed to comply with the previous warning. RULING: Incorrect interpretation. By rule, no one should be out of the dugout/bench area or bullpen if not a batter, runner, on-deck batter, in the coach's box or one of the nine players on defense during a live ball. The home run is an exciting element in the game of baseball. Since the ball is dead, the teammates of the batter are permitted to be out of the dugout to celebrate. However, precautions should be taken not to interfere with the umpire's ability to see the batter touch all the bases. In fact, the players should be behind the umpire until the runner scores.

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This also applies at the beginning of an inning - Typically (if not always) only the lead off batter is allowed to be out warming up...I've seen cases where the ODB is also allowed, but not sure if that is technically "correct" to allow it.     Never more than that though.

If the field/facility permits it (and if the rule set doesn't forbid it) other warmup batters may be in a Dead Ball area, like behind the dugout....I do not believe USSSA specifically forbids this.

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:sarcasm:   I guess in using CSFP, the term is on deck batter, not (plural) on deck batterS.  To me, that would imply ....... 1.

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You're probably asking because an umpire limited you to one batter in between innings, which is the Little League rule. 

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13 minutes ago, flyingron said:

At the beginning of the inning, is the "due up" batter really the on deck batter?

 

A player doesn't become a batter until they enter the box to receive the pitch, or are entitled to do so.

Until the inning starts there can be no batter because no player is entitled to enter the batter's box....so the guy leading off is the ODB until shortly after the final warmup pitch.

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I think a better designation would be the first batter just as the rule book calls him in 2019 OBR rule 5.04:

(3) The first batter in each inning after the first inning shall be the player whose name follows that of the last player who legally completed his time at bat in the preceding inning.

And Little League uses the same terminology in its rule 1.08:

NOTE 2: Only the first batter of each half-inning will be permitted outside the dugout between half-innings in Tee Ball, Minor League, or Little League (Major) Division.

Another thing to consider is on deck refers to being next in line to bat which is conditional. Being first batter guarantees the plate appearance. Being on deck only guarantees the batter will get a chance to bat in the inning if there are fewer than two outs, and the number of outs plus the number of baserunners (including the one at bat) adds up to fewer than three because a double or triple play could occur. Additionally, the manager reserves the right to pull the on-deck hitter for a substitute at his discretion.

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22 hours ago, kylejt said:

You're probably asking because an umpire limited you to one batter in between innings, which is the Little League rule. 

You are correct. I actually had a coach complain that I had too many batters out of the dugout. The umpire agreed with the coach and had me put all of my batters but one back into the dugout. The coach referenced that we were playing by OBR rules and this was not allowed. It appears, based on everyone's feedback, that he was wrong...which doesn't surprise me.

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hey Yank, look at it this way, the fewer players swinging a bat (at the same time), the less likely they are to cause an injury or harm another player.

 

Honestly, I wouldn't want to give a banged up, bruised or bloody player back to mom after the game, would you?

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This is a perfect case in point where I WISH coaches would get into the rule book.  I ask coaches at plate meetings to police their own dugouts, so we don't have to.  We always look like the aggressors when we have to enforce rules like this, but it's our jobs.  JUCO regional last year I ran way too many players back into their dugouts as an in-the-hole hitter timing up pitchers beside the on-deck guy (during a live ball even), despite me previously asking an assistant coach to address it.  After several warnings they asked, "what are you gonna do, eject us?"  My response, "By rule, YES, the next offender will be ejected."  

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4 hours ago, Aging_Arbiter said:

hey Yank, look at it this way, the fewer players swinging a bat (at the same time), the less likely they are to cause an injury or harm another player.

 

Honestly, I wouldn't want to give a banged up, bruised or bloody player back to mom after the game, would you?

Agreed. I'm not a strong proponent of having all of the players out of the dugout. I saw a team do it once and began to do it myself. My guys are always spaced out properly and wearing their helmets. I could live without doing it, though. I was more curious about the actual rule because I've been trying to get more into the rule book. There have been several instances where coaches from the other team try to call the game and I've known they were incorrect (e.g., head first slides and being out of the baseline).

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On 1/14/2020 at 11:14 AM, Yankeetilidie said:

roponent of having all of the players out of the dugout. I saw a team do it once and began to do it myself. My guys are always spaced out properly and wearing their helmets. I could live without doing it, though. I was more curious about the actual rule because I've been trying to get more into the rule book. Thee have been several instances where coaches from the other team try to call the game and I've known they were incorrect (e.g., head first slides and being out of the baseline).

Be careful, you might learn the rules too well and decide to become one of us! :P

"The rule book is a pathway to an enjoyment of sports some consider to be... Unnatural" -Sheev Palpatine, probably.

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