The Ole Ball Game

Batting out of order question

by Marshall Young
(Huntsville AL)

Batting Out Of Order

Batting Out Of Order

Marshall asked: Batting order is B1, B2, B3, B4.

B1 is the Runner on 1st with no outs.

B3 comes to bat when the proper batter should be B2.

B3 hits into a 6-4-3 double play. Before the next pitch or any other play, the defensive coach appeals that B3 was the improper batter and it should have been B2.

What is the ruling?

Rick answered: Marshall, thank you for your question.

National Federation Baseball Rules ( those used for High School baseball)...Rule 7 Batting - Section 1 Position and the Batting Order Art 1...Each player of the team at bat shall become the batter and shall take his position within the batter's box, on either side of home plate, in the order in which his name appears on the lineup card as delivered to the umpire prior to the game. the lineup shall be followed during the entire game. A batter is in proper order if he follows the player whose name precedes his in the lineup, even though such preceding batter may have batted out of order. an improper batter is considered to be at bat as soon as he is in the batter's box and the ball is live.

When the improper batter's infraction is first discovered by either team, time may be requested and the improper batter replaced by the proper batter with the improper batter's ball and strike count still in effect, provided the infraction is discovered before the improper batter is put out or becomes a base runner.

Only the defensive team may appeal batting out of order after the batter has completed his time at bat.

Any outs made on the play stand. An out for batting out of order supersedes an out by the improper batter on the play.

While the improper batter is at bat, if a runner advances because of a stolen base, balk, wild pitch or passed ball, such advance is legal.

Sorted out in real time, the double play stands and the next batter would be the player whose name follows the batter who batted out of turn.

Yours in baseball,


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May 15, 2018
Defense might not want to speak up in this case
by: Carl Moore


I am more familiar with major league baseball than with, say, Little League. There might still be 2 outs despite the defense's appeal if this were Little League.

However, in the majors, the double play would be nullified, B2 called out for not hitting in proper turn, B1 sent back to 1st, and B3, now the proper batter, has to bat again, now with one out. The defense probably would not want to say anything; in that case, there are 2 out and nobody on, and unless B4 or a pinch hitter for B4 bats next, that batter will be out of turn also, because the double play that B3 hit into will have been legalized even though B3 was out of turn at the time.

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