Umpire Interpretations(view all)
(©MLB Umpire Manual)

18. BALLS DEFLECTED OUT OF PLAY

18. BALLS DEFLECTED OUT OF PLAY

Rule 5.06(b)(4)(H) [former Rule 7.05(h)]:

The Approved Ruling of Official Baseball Rule 5.06(b)(4)(H) [former OBR 7.05(h)] provides that when a pitched ball deflects off the catcher and goes directly out of play, the award is one base from the time of the pitch. Likewise, when a throw from the pitcher while in contact with the rubber deflects off a field-er and goes directly out of play, the award is also one base. However, the Approved Ruling also provides that if the pitched ball (or ball thrown by the pitcher while in contact with the rubber) goes through or by the catcher (or fielder), remains on the playing field, and is subsequently kicked or deflected out of play, the award is two bases from the time of the pitch. The above rulings apply if the deflection is unintentional on the part of the fielder. If, in the judgment of the umpires, a fielder intentionally kicks or deflects any batted or thrown ball out of play, the award is two bases from the time the ball was kicked or deflected.

The following list helps summarize awards when a ball is deflected out of play:

• If a pitched ball deflects off the catcher and goes directly out of play, the award is one base from the time of the pitch. • If a ball thrown by the pitcher while in contact with the rubber deflects off a fielder and goes directly out of play, the award is one base from the time of the throw. • If a pitched ball (or a ball thrown by the pitcher while in contact with the rubber) goes through or by the catcher (or fielder), remains on the playing field, and is subsequently kicked or deflected out of play (unintention-ally in either case), the award is two bases from the time of the pitch. This ruling applies without regard to whether or not the ball would have gone out of play had it not been kicked or deflected. (See the Approved Ruling to Official Baseball Rule 5.06(b)(4)(H) [former OBR 7.05(h)].) • If a thrown ball deflects off a fielder and goes directly out of play, the award is two bases from the time of the pitch if it is the first play by an infielder; otherwise the award is two bases from the time of the throw. • If a thrown ball goes through or by a fielder, remains on the playing field, and is subsequently kicked or deflected out of play (unintentionally in either case), the award is two bases from the time of the throw. • If a fair fly ball is deflected in flight by a fielder and then goes out of the playing field in flight over fair territory, it is a home run. • If a fair fly ball is deflected in flight by a fielder and then goes out of play outside the foul lines, the award is two bases from the time of the pitch. • If a fair ball not in flight is deflected by a fielder and then goes out of play, the award is two bases from the time of the pitch.

• If a fielder has complete possession of a batted or thrown ball and sub-sequently deflects or kicks the ball out of play, the award is two bases from the position of the runners at the time the ball was kicked or deflected. • If a fielder has complete possession of a batted or thrown ball and drops the ball while he is out of play, or if the fielder drops such a ball and it then goes out of play, the award is two bases from the position of the runners at the time the ball was dropped. • If, in the judgment of the umpire, a fielder intentionally kicks or deflects a batted or thrown ball out of play, the award is two bases from the time the ball was kicked or deflected.