Stepping out of batters box NFHS

  • Post
    Sara Sawyer
    Issue: Batter continuously steps out of the batters box for no reason. At one point, the pitcher had almost released the ball (and ended up doing so, so his strike was called “dead ball.”) There was no pitching delays from the mound. The kid was just messing up the pitcher. What is the NFHS rule on this? Can he ask for 3 “times” at bat for no reason?

    Similar issue: Pitcher for same team would stand on the mound for 15 seconds and do nothing, no wind up, no pick off plays, nothing. While our batter is waiting, ready to hit.  Is that allowed?

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      There are several questions in your post, and several rules references:

      1.) Batter continuously steps out of the batters box:  NFHS 7-3-1 Batting Infractions: A batter shall not delay the game by failing to take his position promptly in the batter’s box within 20 seconds.  The batter must keep at least one foot in the batter’s box throughout the time at bat.  There are a list of exceptions where a batter can step out of the box, but none are relevant to your question.   Penalty: For failure of the batter to be ready, the umpire shall call a strike.  If the reason for the batter to step out seems unsportsmanlike, the umpire can refuse to give “time” and keep the 20 second clock running.

      2.) At one point, the pitcher had almost released the ball and ended up doing so:  This indicates that the pitcher had already begun the pitching motion, and did pitch the ball.  NFHS Rule 6-24-d-1 applies wherein “if the pitcher….while the batter steps out of the box … legally delivers a ball, it shall be called a strike and the ball remains live.”

      3.) Can the batter ask for time 3 times for no reason?  NFHS Rule 3.3.1-f-1  A coach, player, etc., shall not commit any unsportsmanlike act to include, but not limited to, behavior in any manner not in accordance with the spirit of fair play. Penalty: The umpire shall warn the offender unless the offense is judged to me major, in which case an ejection shall occur.

      4.) The pitcher would stand for about 15 seconds doing nothing, is that allowed?  NFHS Rule 6-2-2-c  Delay of game includes failing to pitch or make or attempt a play, including a legal feint, within 20 seconds after he has received the ball.  Penalty: The batter shall be awarded one ball.   Your timing describes a legal action by the pitcher.

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