The Ole Ball Game

In USSSA base ball is the batter out if he intentionally steps on the plate without a pitch being thrown.

by Gene Smith

Photo Bill Stanton:

Photo Bill Stanton:

Gene asked: There was 10 seconds in the game and the visiting team was behind, so the batter intentionally step on the plate to extend the inning.

The umpire called him out. The game was extended.

Rick answered: Gene, thank you for your question.

I am not familiar with USSSA rules. If I understand the question correctly, the rule for this would be the same in all organizations.

In the Federation Rulebook, it is under Rule 7-3, Section 3 Batting Infractions - A Batter Shall Not: Art 2...Hit the ball fair or foul while either foot is touching the ground completely outside the lines of the batter's box or touching home plate.

Penalty for this infraction, the ball becomes dead immediately and the batter is out.

For a batter to be out for stepping on home plate, there must be a pitch and the batter must make contact with that pitch.

I cannot imagine any circumstance that an umpire would call a batter out, just for stepping on the plate. A batter could step on the plate during a swing; but if no contact with the ball was made, it is just a strike, not an out.

Would need some additional information surrounding the time limit that you mentioned. Generally speaking, if there is a time limit in a game, it is that no new inning will begin after a designated time.

One of the great things about baseball is there is no clock. In football and basketball, time can run out; but not in baseball.

If you get to the designated time for no new inning to start, but the game is not complete, then the umpires suspend the game, and it is picked up from that point, at a later date worked out by the teams involved.

Sounds like this one may have gotten pretty exciting when that call came to life.

I would be interested in hearing more about this and how it all played out on that field.

Yours in baseball,


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