Topic: Switching sides in the batters box?

CoachRod    -- 04-30-2004 @ 11:55 PM
  My question is.... once a batter starts his at bat on one side of the batters box, does he have to finish it there....i.e. can he begin the at bat left handed and decide to hit right handed later on in the SAME at bat....i've seen it tried 3 times @ the high school level and it actually worked once... but the other 2 times the umpire said it was illegal.... but then one of those umpires said it wasn't in the rule book, but it was his discretion whether he wanted to allow it or not....i dont know?!?!... im clueless


DelawareBlue    -- 05-01-2004 @ 7:07 AM
  I've never had it happen, but it's legal under OBR as long as the batter does not switch sides when the pitcher is ready to pitch.  I don't have my FED rule book in front of me so I can't quote the rule, but it's basically the same as OBR.

OBR Rule 6.06 A batter is out for illegal action when- (b) He steps from one batter's box to the other while the pitcher is in position ready to pitch...

This message was edited by DelawareBlue on 5-1-04 @ 9:19 AM

DelawareBlue    -- 05-22-2004 @ 12:29 AM
  When I answered that question, I checked Jaksa/Roder.  They do not discuss switching from one batter's box to the other.  I failed to check the PBUC Manual.  It contains the following ruling.  

NAPBL/PBUC Umpire Manual, Section 6.14:  In the rare occasion of an ambidextrous pitcher, the pitcher and batter may each change position one time per at-bat. For example, if the pitcher changes from right-handed to left-handed and the batter then changes batter's boxes, each player must remain that way for the duration of that at-bat (unless the offensive team substitutes a pinch hitter, and then each player may again "switch" one time).

So there is at least one authoritative source supporting the position that the batter may only switch sides once per at bat.  PBUC Umpire Manual is the official umpire manual for Minor League Baseball and the Professional Baseball Umpire Corp.

This message was edited by DelawareBlue on 5-22-04 @ 12:30 AM

Smitty    -- 05-22-2004 @ 11:01 AM
  What is "NAPBL/PBUC"?

DelawareBlue    -- 05-22-2004 @ 2:26 PM
  Sorry.  The PBUC is the Professional Baseball Umpire Corp.  PBUC is the entity that is responsible for the training, evaluation, and recommendation for promotion, retention, or release of all umpires in Minor League Baseball system in the US and Canada.

NAPBL is the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues.  The PBUC is a wholly owned subsidiary of NAPBL.

Smitty    -- 05-22-2004 @ 7:54 PM

stylemismatch    -- 05-24-2004 @ 7:47 AM
  "I failed to check the PBUC Manual. It contains the following ruling...."

I'm thinking maybe we need to hire a team lawyer to advise us on the rules.  Just when I think I'm starting to sort of get a handle on the OBR rules (which isn't easy, some of the issues are about as hard to decipher as the National Electric Codebook) our league hands me a Dizzie Dean rulebook, which itself is about as clear as mud (I think pitchers are allowed to throw 8 innings per week, except on Thursdays during a full moon in a tournament, or something like that).  Now come to find out there's yet another "rulebook" that's just for umpires.  

DelawareBlue    -- 05-24-2004 @ 5:05 PM
  Now come to find out there's yet another "rulebook" that's just for umpires.

It's been years since a major rewrite or update of the Official Baseball Rules.  So umpires rely on one or more of several authoritative references when trying to deal with knotty problems.  The main references are Jaksa/Roder (commonly referred to as J/R), the PBUC Umpires Manual, the BRD (Baseball Rules Differences), and JEA (named for the Jim Evans Academy).  You don't have to belong to the secret society to obtain the first three references. They're available through several sources.

Just when I think I'm starting to sort of get a handle on the OBR rules ...

If you study the major references, you'll find they don't always agree on certain situations.  That's one reason those of us who do high school ball love FED rules.  While FED has some strange and quirky rules compared to what we're used to under OBR, the rulebook is revised each year.  There is also a comprehensive casebook.  Also, the FED folks publish edits and updates during the season.  If you study the FED rulebook and casebook, you've got what you need to become a reasonable expert on FED rules and interpretations.  Too bad Little Leauge and other youth baseball organizations don't follow FED's example.

This message was edited by DelawareBlue on 5-24-04 @ 5:06 PM

Jim_Thompson    -- 05-30-2004 @ 8:24 AM
  The umpire who told you this was wrong. A batter can switch sides anytime between pitches no matter what the count.


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