Little League Essentials – dropped (uncaught) third strike

This would also fall into the “rules that I have been calling wrong all season” category…

uncaught third strike rule

uncaught third strike

So most of us know the basics of D3K. If a 3rd strike is uncaught and 1st base is unoccupied with less that two outs or at any time with 2 outs, the batter may attempt to advance to 1st. Where the confusion for some of us lies is in when the batter has given up his right to advance.   In Little League aged kids, it’s common for the batter to strike out and start to walk back to his dugout, only to be woken up by everyone yelling “RUN”.  The question is – when has he given up the right to run?  The answer, in all levels that I call, is: he can attempt to advance until he enters his dugout or team area (or any other dead ball area). 

(actually, see note below)

I knew that that was the rule in NFHS. I knew this (kind of):

It used to be that the pro rule was the same as the Little League rule (or the other way around). In 2007, however Major League Baseball changed their rule so that the batter forfeited the right to advance if he left the dirt area around home plate before trying to advance.  (from Kevin Hunter’s Umpire Resource Center)

I really only knew that MLB used the dirt circle and I have assumed that LL was the same. And I’ve called it that way.  But now I (and the three of you) know.

BTW, I’ve gotten automatic at giving the safe sign on a D3K – that’s new for me.


Note: After posting and re-reading – I guess this is NOT true in all levels that I call.  Leagues that are not Little League affiliated and not playing FED rules are playing OBR. So, I guess, in those games I’m using the circle.





2 responses

  1. If first base is occupied – but runner was stealing second on the pitch resulting in D3K – can batter still attempt to steal 1st? I send my batter to 1b anyhow and hope the catcher will throw on him, allowing the runner stealing second base to round and look for 3rd…

    1. The fact that the runner was stealing has no bearing. The position of the runner is based on time of pitch. While there is not a rule that prevents the batter from running when not entitled to, that’s really not part of the game. I’m pretty emphatic on my “batter is out” verbalization, and would be very strong with it (bordering on helping the defense) if I suspected that the batter was running intentionally, and not by mistake. Just out of curiosity – do you coach baseball or softball?

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