The Ole Ball Game

who is out or do you ignore it?

by don
(ramona ca)

Don asked: Pony baseball,local rules require every player at least 1 @ bat and 3 defensive outs.


Bottom of 6th home team subs 7a,8a,& 9a into game to bat for 7,8,9 respectively.

7a gets on walk, 8a gets on an error, with 7a going to 3rd.

9a gets hit with pitch and after getting to first, begs coach to take him out of game.

Coach sends 7 in to run for hit player. (no other subs except 3 originals).

Batter is now #1 who gets a base hit.

7a and 8a score. #1 on 1st and #7 on third.

Defense coach asks for time and says runner on 3rd should be out because he was batting out of order.(Fact was substituted out of order).

You make the call!
(Pony allows re-entry of starters)


Rick answered: Don, thank you for your question.

I am not familiar with Pony Rules, in particular local versions of the rules.

I have never been one to strictly interpret the rules, especially when it comes to younger kids.

With a situation like this one, I would be inclined to make concessions to let the kids finish the game, even if the changes make a difference in the outcome.

I will take a shot.

If there is no restriction on what place in the order a starter goes back into, that would make the substitution for the runner at first legal, no grounds for appeal.

To fulfill the requirement for 3 defensive outs, 9a will have to go back in for 7, for the top of the 7th. He already had his at bat, so it will all play out.

If there is a restriction that says a starter must go back in his place in the order, then there should have never been a substitution allowed for the player that was hit by the pitch.

Not sure how the scorer handles that. They must have a provision for a player getting injured, especially at that level. I would think they would wave the sub rule, maybe require that the pinch runner be the player who had been replaced in that spot, and move on.

Due to injury, waive the 3 0ut rule for 9a, have 9 finish the game. That would be in the best interest of the injured player, and allow the game to be finished.

All that should have been worked out as 7 went in to pinch run, by the scorekeepers, umpires or the home team coaches. They have the lineup cards, and would instantly see the situation.

Worst case scenario, they don't get that corrected until the defensive coach appeals.

The hard line says appeal is upheld, 7 is out for illegal re-entry, and they move forward.

When the home team goes back out, 9 goes back for 9a as a legal re-entry.

I would be interested in how this all worked out in real time.

Yours in baseball,

Rick




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Sep 08, 2016
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Illegal Substitute
by: Anonymous

PONY allows re-entry of starters, but they can only re-enter in the same batting order spot that they were originally in.

This isn't "batting out of order". It's an illegal substitution. Number 7 may re-enter, but only in the spot now occupied by his substitute (7a).

I umpire high school baseball and PONY may have a different way of handling illegal subs. Check your PONY rule book for the PONY ruling!

In most baseball rule sets the illegal sub is called out and ejected whenever he's discovered.


Sep 06, 2016
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the decision
by: don

The pony rule is the same as high school for subs. Because a play had taken place before the protest I allowed the play to stand.The player on third was replaced with the correct runner and the game was finished with all players being correct. The rational was like batting out of order.Once a play has taken place after an out of order batter has completed his at bat.It becomes legal and the person who was illegal is followed by whoever is in the line up after him. I talked to the Pony main office in Washington Pa. the next day and they said it was as good as decision as could be made as they had never had that situation before.

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